HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Poached Salmon with Saffron Sauce and Mussels



One night, not too long ago, Andrew asked for something light for dinner.  I shouldn’t have been all that surprised because as the blog has been laden with cold weather comfort food, so has our table. I love the indulgence of these winter recipes but I get the point. So I found a recipe from Saveur Magazine that had all the elements of a classic winter meal.  There’s the rich flavor of poached salmon and it sits in a lovely sauce redolent with saffron and fennel and enough butter to make it silken.  The mussels float on top adding to the stew-like feeling I got from this dish.  I confess that I don’t often use Saffron and until this recipe, I would have to say that I was a little disappointed every time I did. For an ingredient that is, by weight, likely the most expensive item in the entire arsenal of spices we keep, its underperformance was shocking.  This time I got it right in two ways:  I bought the saffron at Trader Joe’s which sells it for the bargain basement price of 5.99 for .020 oz.  That’s still a lot of money but when it performs as it does in this recipe, it’s well worth the splurge.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Baked Pasta with Pesto, Cheese and Meat Sauce


         Here’s true comfort food that you can play with to your heart’s content.  It’s virtually impossible not to make something warming and filling out of this recipe because the recipe is as flexible as can be.  It’s also a great way to empty the fridge, use up ends of cheese and experiment with flavors you make up as you go along.  That’s basically how I put this dish together.  All you really need is 1 lb of ground beef, an onion, a 28 oz. can of tomatoes, a box of pasta of and a cup and a half of soft cheese that melts easily plus enough parmesan to sprinkle over the top.  And the whole thing comes together in under an hour.  Let’s proceed, shall we?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Lamb Chops with Cucumber Relish from Chef Renee Erickson of Seattle's Boat Street Cafe


        
I am a big fan of the loin lamb chops that you can buy at Costco in packages of between 10 and 12 chops. They are all completely trimmed with none of the extraneous fat I often see on the chops in the butcher case at our supermarket for lots more money.  That being said, they don’t exactly inspire me to do much more than stick them under the broiler for a few minutes, occasionally drizzling Worcestershire sauce over them.  This summer, I tried a cumin rub with less than stellar results.   So I was very pleased to find a recipe from a Seattle chef that dresses up these quick and easy chops at dinnertime.   Actually, the recipe doesn’t do any more to the chops than rub them in olive oil and use a heavy hand in seasoning them with salt and pepper.  It’s the Cucumber relish that makes the meal here and makes it so easily.  The active time preparing the dish is all of 20 minutes.  Add in the cooking time and you’re out of the kitchen in just 45!