Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cranberry Bread

Cranberry time is back at the grocery store. . .  I like cranberry nut bread, and usually make the recipe found on the Ocean Spray bag of cranberries, but thought I'd explore the web for other options.  One was to leave out the nuts and put in golden raisins instead.  What I've put below is an adaptation of the recipe on the bag, reducing the amount of nuts and adding in raisins.  I really like this variation--the raisins give a very nice texture and moistness to the bread.

Cranberry Bread
 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup sugar (I used about 3/4 cup)
1-1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 T. oil
1 egg, well beaten
1 t. orange zest (or 1/2 t. orange citrus oil, something I keep on hand for when I don't have fresh citrus  in the refrigerator)
3/4 c. orange juice (I used frozen, and it was fine)
1 c. golden raisins
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1-1/2 c. coarsely chopped cranberries

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray/grease one 9x5 loaf pan.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Mix together egg, oil, orange peel/oil, orange juice; mix into dry ingredients.  Stir in raisins, nuts, and cranberries.

Pour into loaf pan and back for 55 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes, remove from pan, and cool on wire rack.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Thai Hot and Sour Soup


On the lookout for ways to use the fresh lemon grass I have in the garden, I picked out this recipe, and David made it a couple of days ago.  It was sooooo good!  A complex taste that was both comforting and enlivening.  I couldn't help myself from oohing and aahing throughout the eating of the soup.

Scroll down past the blog entry and video to get to the actual recipe:

David made this just as directed, substituting lime peel for the kaffir lime leaves. He used fresh mushrooms (just regular button mushrooms) instead of canned straw mushrooms.  He added bean thread noodles and about a cup of snow peas (cut in half).  If you want to make a vegetarian version, you could use vegetable broth and substitute tofu for the chicken.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Easy Thai Salmon Cakes

The salmon we get is so good that I usually do a fairly simple preparation, not wanting to cover up the great taste of this wild salmon.  But I was interested in trying to make salmon cakes, which I haven't done before, and I noticed a recipe in a Thai cookbook that used red curry paste, something I had recently bought a small jar of for a particular recipe.  These were excellent--I'll definitely make them again.  The original recipe calls for using either canned or fresh salmon.

adapted from Quick and  Easy Thai by Nancie McDermott 
serves 4

about 14 oz. salmon, cooked  (see instructions below for steaming the fish)
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 eggs, whisked
1 T. red curry paste
1 T. fish sauce
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
spray olive oil

1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1/2 c. sour cream (lite is fine)
1/2 lemon, juiced (or a Tbsp. or so of bottled, frozen lemon juice)
sliced tomatoes (optional)

To steam the salmon
Place an inch of water in the bottom of a large pot, set a steamer basket on top, then add the salmon.  Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to medium-low.  Simmer the fish about 5 minutes, or until it is opaque and flakes with a fork.  (NB:  I hadn't tried this utterly simple preparation before.  The fish was delicious just like this.)

Sour cream sauce (Yes, I borrowed this sauce from the tacos I made last week.)
Mix together the cilantro, sour cream, and lemon juice.  Chill in the refrigerator while making the patties.

To prepare the cakes
Remove the skin from the salmon, and any bones, and then flake it with a fork.  Add the mashed potatoes, onion, and cilantro.  In a small bowl, whisk up the 2 eggs.  In another small bowl, mix up the red curry paste, fish sauce, salt, pepper, and about half of the egg mixture.  Add to the salmon mixture and combine everything well.  Add more of the egg if you need it to make the salmon mixture hang together.  Shape into 8 patties and set aside.

Spray a pan with olive oil.  (I used a Foreman grill.)  When the pan is hot, add however many salmon patties will fit in the pan and cook about three minutes, turn carefully, and cook another 3 minutes; the patties will be golden brown.  (If you use something like a Foreman grill, 3 minutes total is fine).  Transfer these to a serving platter and cook the remaining patties; serve hot or warm.  Extra patties can be refrigerated.  They were just as good the second day, heated up a bit in the microwave.

I served the salmon cakes with the sour cream sauce on freshly made pita bread, but a bun would be fine too--or they would be delicious without any bread at all.  The second day I thought to put on a slice of garden tomatoes, which made a nice addition.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Using leftover salmon--tacos!

David and I are happy shareholders in Sitka Salmon Shares.  This means that we received 15 lbs. of very high quality Alaskan salmon this summer, and will this fall be getting 5 lbs of black cod and 5 lbs. of halibut.  The salmon is usually packaged in pieces of about 14-16 ounces.  This is more than David and I eat in one meal; there's some leftover, but not enough for a second meal with a regular portion of fish.  So, I'm on the lookout for things to make with the smaller amount of salmon for a second meal.  Standards have been a Nicoise Salad or an omelet.  Last night I tried fish tacos, using baked salmon from the night before.  They were great!!  I'm sure this would be tasty with other fish also.  I havn't specified amounts, except for the sauce--I just estimated enough to fill the 4-5 tacos that the two of us would eat.  This is my own version, after looking at a variety of different recipes.


leftover cooked salmon (or freshly cooked salmon, or other fish)
small flour tortillas
finely shredded cabbage (I sliced off about a 1-1/2" from the edge and cut into thin threads)
diced onion (red or yellow, or scallions)
diced tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes, halved)
avocado, diced (optional--I meant to include this, but forgot; it would have been nice)
Sriracha sauce (optional--I like this for a little bit of heat)
sour cream sauce, below

Sour cream sauce (enough for about 7 tortillas)
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1/2 c. sour cream (I used lite)
1/2 lemon, juiced

Mix the sauce ingredients together.  Heat tortillas in the microwave; do enough for one taco for each person, then do another round when needed.  (In my microwave, about 15 seconds per tortilla.)  Have other ingredients in small bowls at the table, and assemble tacos individually.