Friday, January 30, 2015

Bagel and lox

I'm on a salmon binge over here. I love the texture of smoked salmon. And the flavor. And the smell. It brings forth cozy memories of weekends at my host family's house in Norway. My host dad used to catch and prepare their salmon and my host mum used to bake all of their breads. Sharing food truly unites.

smoked salmon
Neufchatel cheese
red onion

Slice the bagels in half and toast them. Allow the cream cheese to equilibrate to room temperature.

Spread the cheese on the bagels halves, sprinkle with capers, top with salmon and red onions. Soo, soo good.

Broiled salmon sandwich

Salmon is my favorite fish. I'm quite sure of it. At least for today. Maybe tomorrow I will switch to tuna. Fresh tuna. But today is salmon celebration day! This sandwich was unbelievably tasty. An amazing pescatarian  meal. And though vegetarians may find it fishy that under my vegetarian labels many fishy dishes appear...I will hold to my perspective that fish is just not meat.

2 rolls
2 tbsp mayo
2 cloves garlic
1 avocado
4 sweet tomato slices
4 lettuce leaves
0.5 tsp lemon pepper
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
8 oz salmon filet
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice

Rinse the salmon and place into a plastic bag with the olive oil and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Preheat oven on broil, with rack 6-8 inches from the broiler. Place a cookie rack onto a baking sheet. Remove the salmon from the marinade and sprinkle with salt. Place skin-side-down onto the cookie rack and broil for 8 minutes. Flip and broil the other side as well. Be careful, the skin burns easily!

Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. Mash the meat up with a clove of crushed garlic, salt, Sriracha and 2 tsp lemon juice. Set aside.

Take the lemon pepper and the other clove of crushed garlic. Mix well with the mayo and set aside.

Spread the bottom part of each roll with the garlic aioli. Place a lettuce leaf on top. Spread out the broiled salmon pieces on the lettuce. Top with the avocado spread.

Slice the tomatoes on top and add another lettuce leaf. Cover with the top of the roll. I actually prepared this also as an open-faced was delicious, albeit a little messy. If you need to reduce carbs, you may wish to try this.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Massaged kale salad

Kale is a delicious, hearty and hardy leafy green. It's one of the few that truly thrive in the cold and dark winter of the North East under the appropriate circumstances. However, without some TLC, its mouth-feel resembles particularly tough bat wings...or maybe the worn rubber sole of water-proof boots. But, like with most things, a little rubbing with some scented massage oil goes a long way to relax the tough little plant. With some effort, these scary leaves become rather tractable, almost sweet-natured.

4-6 cups kale leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
0.25 tsp salt

Wash the leaves and dry them in a salad-spinner. Fold them in half and cut out the stem. Chop into bite-sized pieces.

In a large bowl add in oil, vinegar and salt to the kale. Massage for 2 minutes. The leaves will collapse and become a vibrant green. They can now serve as a perfect base for a winter salad.

Olive bread

The King Arthur Flour Company is a great business. Visiting their store, almost everything is irresistibly tempting and unbelievably delicious. Before Christmas I purchased some cheater ingredients from them, and one of them was an artisan olive bread additive. 
Olives are delicious. No, not the black ones that come in a can and taste like shoe. Those are actually unripe olives artificially died the color of satan's hoof. I'm talking about real olives here. And if you don't happen to live in the Mediterranean, the least you can do is acquire Kalamata olives for a tasty olive bread. However, if you are lazy, like may just trust the experts and tweak an old bread recipe to achieve the desired sublime flavors.

3 cups flour
0.5 cup KAF olive bread mix
0.5 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
1.5 cup warm water.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Pour in the water and mix well until no dry spots remain.

Cover bowl with foil and allow to rise at room temperature for 12-18 hours. Cut into 6-8 rolls and bake in a preheated 450F oven until golden brown. Cool on a cookie rack.

Grapefruit margarita

This is such a quick and easy drink. Sanpellegrino makes some of my favorite citrus sodas, and the grapefruit version is particularly delicious. It reminds me of my favorite European grapefruit beer I like to drink in the summer. Mixed with tequila and cointreau it's almost too sweet, though. Something to keep in mind.

4 ice cubes
1 can of grapefruit soda
2/3 cups of tequila
3 tbsp of Cointreau
2 lime wedges

Distribute the ice cubes into two glasses. Add half of each of the ingredients to the glass. Mix well and serve with a lime wedge.