Wednesday, July 30, 2008

filo wrapped coho salmon

So the mussels (below) were the appetizers as part of our seafood extravaganza. And the filo wrapped salmon was the entrée. It was quite possibly one of the fastest proteins I have ever prepared...with the goat cheese it was pretty rich. Tasty but rich. Next time I think I would cream together the goat cheese with a little bit of honey dijon or something like that to cut the richness just a bit. What I did love was how beautifully the filo turned out. I am always apprehensive to work with it, for fear of drying out or tearing, but then whenever I do, always a happy surprise!

(Lighting in the picture is horrible!)

2 coho salmon fillets - personalize size, de-boned and skinned
3 Tbsp crumbled herb goat cheese
1 lemon 5-10 thin garlic chives
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 sheets filo paper
salt and pepper

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F
  2. Lay one sheet of filo out. Cover the other with a damp cloth/paper towel to ensure that it doesn't dry out.
  3. Brush top half of the sheet with melted butter.
  4. Flip bottom half of sheet up onto the top, brush with butter.
  5. Pat salmon dry, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place de-boned and skinned fillet on with 3 inches from the end of the sheet.
  7. Top salmon with half of the crumbled cheese, 1/4 of the chives - chopped up into small pieces, and some juice from half of the lemon.
  8. Fold top, bottom and short side of the filo ont the salmon, and then fold the salmon along the long side of the filo.
  9. Brush outer filo with butter.
  10. Repeat for second fillet.
  11. Place packs on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown - approximately 20 minutes.
  12. Garnish (if you would like to!) with the other half of the lemon and remaining chives
Best served with a fresh light garden salad!

Serves 2.

Monday, July 28, 2008

chorizo mussels

Every summer I have a few seafood kicks. Living on the west coast, there is an abundance of delights from the sea. A few months ago there was the Spotted Prawn Festival in Vancouver...fresh fresh fresh meaty prawns, cooked simply either steamed or grilled and a little garlic butter - delish!

Today after work I wondered down to Granville Island, visited our favourite fish shop and picked up a few pounds of mussels and wild coho salmon fillets...and out of it we had a tasty summer seafood fest.

Here is our appetizer: chorizio mussels - the heat was delayed, using fresh chili's would have a stronger intense heat, the chorizo was more subtle.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 diced yellow onion
1 Roma tomato diced
3 cloves diced garlic
1 pinch salt
1 large chorizo sausage, sliced
1 Tbsp chili flakes
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup vegetable stock
2 lbs mussels, cleaned - only use tightly closed mussels
1/3 cup heavy cream
4-5 basil leaves

Lots slices of crusty bread

  1. Over medium heat, heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot (I used a dutch oven)
  2. Add to garlic, onions and salt to the pot, sauté until they begin to sweat, do not let brown
  3. Add chorizo sausage and chili flakes, sauté for about 2 minutes, stir occasionally
  4. Add tomatoes, allow to warm through
  5. Add white wine and vegetable stock - bring to a boil
  6. Add cleaned mussels, cover and let steam for approximately 5 minutes
  7. Once the majority of all the mussels have opened, remove from heat.
  8. Transfer mussels to a large bowl, leave sauce in the pot.
  9. Add heavy cream, bring to simmer and allow to thicken - about 2 minutes.
  10. Take all but one leaf of the basil, tear and add to pot, stir and pour into bowl with mussels.
  11. Garnish with remaining leaf.
  12. Serve with bread - use it to absorb all the tasty broth
NB: Only eat the mussels that have fully opened - the other's should be tossed.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

musings and gardening

We have been busy this month! Between a wedding of good friends and all the excitement, events and errands around that, working many evenings and family there have been lots of dinners out and food ordered or baking has been something that has not been on my mind at all! Sure, we've bbq'd burgers on the grill, and I've baked some vanilla cupcakes, but nothing to write on the blog about! But not for long, I have a list as long as my arm of things I am looking forward to make over the next few weeks, and can't wait!

What I have been up to has kept me outdoors. Living in an 800 - something square foot apartment I have really been missing the joy of gardening. I have a vault full of memories of being a kid and watching my dad garden, and every few summers my mom would put in a veggie garden. I loved watching the little seedlings start out scrony and over the course of a month or two bush out, fill with fragrant blossoms and in the case of the veggies produce food that could make it to the table in mere minutes.

Last year I put my name on a wait list for a community garden plot, as luck would have it, this year I got a large plot for me to with it whatever my little heart wanted - I was stoked! The plot is about 8'x20' it is on a slope, so I went with a fairly traditional approach, basic rows filled with:
green beens, sugar peas, butternut squash, carrots, onions, chives, beets, radishes and lettuce (I planted spinach but it totally bolted in the never ending June rain). I also planted several sweet pea plants - a little floral beauty. The picture below is the finished product of a hot afternoon in May turning the soil and planting.

And today, I finally got the chance to go and collect our bounty! Don't get me wrong, over the last weeks I have picked a few sugar peas off the plant, and some lettuce leaves, but today I went prepared, basket and shears in hand... and I walked away with an exciting assortment - bring on the kitchen now! I will get back in the kitchen -- till next week then!

In the picture from left to right:
Chives, Sugar Peas, Butter Lettuce, Green Beans, Sweat Peas, Radishes

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

o canada, our home and native land...

No recipes in this post. But, in honour of my fair country's 141st birthday, we did the typically Canadian thing: pack the car, pack some beer and get out of the city...and it was a great time for all.

This past weekend we went camping at Shuswap Provincial Park. I love camping. Love it. I don't know if it is the childhood memories, of big campfires, swimming in a lakes, having fun with friends and cousins, but there is something I just adore about packing up the car and heading out to the "wilderness". Pete likes to point out that how we camp, is not real is car camping. Fair enough. He is the strap on a 70 lb pack and walk up a mountain. I am the person who is completely satisfied to have a car to zip to the store if I need anything.

My favourite thing about camping now as an adult is to cook a delicious meal with pretty basic ingredients, and the kicker, is to try to cook everything over open flames. We always bring our camping stove, just in case there is a campfire ban, but there is NOTHING like grilled steak with a smoky wood flavour. A few pictures for fun are below. Our first night's dinner was delish, grilled steaks, mushroom risotto and salad - no picture of that, we were too hungry to take any!

Breakfast: Eggs, Roasted Potatoes and Sausages

Dinner: Teriyaki Salmon, Grilled Asparagus and Roasted Potatoes