Thursday, October 30, 2014

Guacamole & Salmon Sandwiches

We have salmon usually about once a week (if we’ve made it to the super market the weekend before the week gets going). I usually make salmon with a side of veggies & either potatoes or rice or some other starch.  This week I decided to take the salmon to some bread & make these salmon guacamole sandwiches for dinner.  We’ll definitely have these again maybe in a different variation - but salmon on bread is a winning combo for me (& Chris!).
Ingredients for Guacamole:
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted
  • 3 scallions (or 1 small onion or 1 large shallot), sliced thin - green & white parts
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped super fine
  • 1 medium size tomato, diced
  • 1 lime, zest & juice
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like your guacamole spicy!)
  • salt
Ingredients for Salmon:
  • 3/4 lb wild caught salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper
More Ingredients for the Sandwich:
  • 2 ciabatta rolls or bread cut into large roll sized segments
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 handfuls mixed baby greens
  • 2 teaspoons vinaigrette (optional)
Make the Guacamole!
  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a medium size mixing bowl, mashing the avocado with a fork.
  2. Season with a pinch of salt.
  3. Mix in the red pepper flakes - more if you like more spice!
  4. Set aside. (Cover with plastic wrap & stick in the fridge if you’re not using it right away. I would use it within a few hours otherwise the avocado will brown. It will still be tasty but not as pretty.)
Make the Salmon!
  1. Use this method to make the salmon.
  2. Remove the skin from the fillets.
  3. Cut into equal sized portions. If the fish breaks up it’s ok - it’ll still fit on the sandwich!
Make the Whole Sandwich!
  1. Toast the bread in a 350 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes. Check frequently as to not burn it. The edges should be browned & toasted on the edges.
  2. Remove the bread from the oven & rub each side with a whole glove of garlic.
  3. Toss the mixed greens in a small bowl with the vinaigrette (or serve naked sans dressing).
  4. Lay the bottom of the sandwiches on serving plates. Divide the guacamole & spread half on each sandwich base.
  5. Top with cooked salmon.
  6. Add dressed mixed greens on top of the salmon & close the sandwich. Cut in half.
  7. Serve with a simple mixed green salad.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, Spinach & Goat Cheese Pasta

Kristin from Beauty Counter posted a photo of this onion mushroom pasta dish on her Facebook page the other day & I was inspired to try it although I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I went off the ingredients that I had on hand plus a suggestion my cousin, Christy Ann made to add pasta water & goat cheese for a simple yet creamy pasta sauce.  Thanks for the inspiration ladies! I really liked what evolved from these ideas & I think you will too!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with a Creamy & Spicy Dipping Sauce

Chris doesn’t like sweet potatoes but he liked these! (Tiny win!!) I found these purple & white sweet potatoes in my regular super market. Maybe it was mind over matter that made Chris enjoy these more than he usually does or maybe it was the addictive dipping sauce that we ate along with them. Or maybe it was because I called them “fries”.  Whatever it was I’ll take it & will be making these again (similar to the method I used to make these home fries).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Better Home Cooking Basics: #45 Speed Up Prep Time & Reduce Mess with a Food Scoop or a Dough Scraper.

After you’ve chopped your onions & minced your garlic how do you get it into your skillet or pot that you’ll be cooking it in? Do you carefully scoop & balance it on your knife & then slowly walk it over to your stove while maybe sacrificing some to the floor & by some I mean most & now you have to clean the floor? Do you bring your entire cutting board to the pot & scrape all of your hard prep work into said pot or skillet (if you’re lucky enough to keep the balance of it with one hand while you scrape with the other?

I can be a bit of a spaz & would love to say I never spill anything - but that couldn’t be further from the truth. A handful of years ago I bought a stainless steel food scoop like this one while I was down visiting Charleston. I wish I could tell you the name of the store or even the brand of mine but I can’t. Yes most people probably pick up something more sentimental when on vacation - but me - I opt for practical kitchen gadgets.

Turns out this little "souvenir" is my favorite & most used gadget in the kitchen. I use it daily. It’s the perfect way to caddy food from your cutting board to your pot without spilling it everywhere - no balancing act required. It's a great way to be more efficient with your time in the kitchen (read: spend less time cleaning the mess of your floor.)

I like the one I use (see the photo below) because it has sides to it so none of the food can escape that way. This one & this one are great alternatives with sides.

You can also use a pastry/dough scraper like this one. It won’t have sides so more balance is required but you can scoop larger amounts for transporting around your kitchen.

What's your favorite kitchen gadget? I would love to know! Please comment below.

Get more of my better home cooking basics here