Seared Salmon in Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

Seared Salmon in Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

Salmon, that pretty pink fish fillet rich in protein and Omega-3 Fatty Acids is not only good for you it’s delicious too!

I love salmon because of it’s mild flavor making one of the easiest fish to prepare in so many different ways.  You can make salmon patties, burgers or cakes; grill salmon steaks and kabobs; use it in fish stew; and fry or bake it topped with all sorts of sauces.  In short Salmon is like a blank canvas!

One of my favorite Salmon recipes is Seared Salmon with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce.  It’s delicious!  I serve it with a side of poor man’s pasta (that’s spaghetti or any type of pasta tossed in butter and garlic then sprinkled with parmesan cheese) or if we’re on diets (which we are almost always on) I serve it with grilled asparagus or sauteed spinach.  Anyway you serve it this Salmon dish is wonderful!

Seared Salmon with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

Ingredients:

1 large Salmon fillet sliced into 3-4 strips (see picture)

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

2 Tbs. Butter

Pinch of salt & pepper

1 Tsp. Garlic – minced

1/2 Cup Chicken Broth

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Lemons – 1 with juice squeezed out and the other cut in slices for garnish

2 Tbs. Fresh Dill chopped

Directions:

Pat Salmon slices dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.

In a medium to large skillet melt 1 Tbs. butter in the olive oil.

When butter is melted add salmon, cook both sides about 5 minutes per side.

Remove cooked salmon from pan, place on a dish and set aside.

Add garlic to skillet and cook just until it starts to turn brown.

Add chicken broth and lemon juice to skillet and scrape off any salmon pieces and garlic off the bottom.  This is called “deglazing”.

Bring liquid to a simmer and add heavy whipping cream.

Simmer for about 3-4 minutes until sauce starts to thicken a bit.

Place salmon back into skillet to warm up.

Add dill to sauce and spoon over salmon.

Place salmon on serving dish.  Pour sauce over salmon garnish with lemon slices to serve.

 


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Meat Filled Piroshki

Meat Filled Piroshki

For years now I usually write about travel on my Wednesday articles.  Lately due to the worldwide Pandemic travel has become difficult and many times ill advised.

Many of us have chosen to stay home this summer perhaps planning our next trip whenever we feel safe enough to venture further away from home.  In our case I’m not really sure when that will be, specially since cruising is one of our favorite vacation travel.  Sadly the cruising industry has canceled cruises thru September and will likely cancel cruises thru fall and possibly the rest of the year.

Yes we’re sad and even restless.  We haven’t been able to visit our daughter and her family in Italy since last fall.  And yes we miss traveling.  That’s why I’ve been trying to bring a little bit of our travels in to our home.  What better way to “re-live” some of our favorite vacation spots than thru food.  I’ve decided to share some of our favorite cuisine which we discovered during our travels.  Because isn’t food a big part of traveling anyway?

So for the next little while on my Wednesday post I’ll share a recipe for a favorite food we discovered during our travels.  I hope it will inspire you to try something different and maybe make plans to visit one of the countries!

Today I’ll share this Piroshki recipe.  Piroshkis are very similar to American meat pies, British Pasties, Middle Eastern Fatayer,  and even Empanadas from Mexico, Spain, and other Latin countries.

Piroshkis are a popular street or comfort food in Russia and the Ukraine.  They’re fried or baked oblong buns (I prefer the fried) filled with a variety of fillings including beef, chicken, pork, mushrooms, and cheese.  In Russia they’re considered a main course when eaten with a soup or salad.  It’s often served with sour cream.

Today I’ll share a recipe for Beef or Chicken filled Piroshkis.  They’re not too difficult to make and if you’re not used to working with yeast breads this is a fine recipe to start with as it’s fairly simple.

Meat Filled Piroshkis

Ingredients for the dough:

4 cups flour

1 Tsp. Active dry yeast

1/4 Cup warm water

1 Cup Milk

3 Eggs

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

2 Tbs. Sugar

1 Tsp. Salt

Filling Ingredients:

1 Lb. Ground Beef, Turkey, or Chicken

1 Large Onion very finely chopped

1/2 Cup Mushrooms very finely chopped

1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Pepper

2 Tbs. Fresh Dill

1 Tsp. Dried Dill

1 Tbs. Fresh Garlic – minced

Oil for frying

Directions:

First prepare dough as follows:

Dissolve yeast in the warm water and place in a warm place until it’s frothy – about 10 minutes.

In a medium saucepan on low heat pour in milk and let warm up.

Whisk in the eggs, oil, sugar, and salt.  This mixture will be warm and lumpy.

Remove from heat.

Place 1/2 of flour in bowl of stand mixer (or large bowl if mixing by hand).  Using the dough hook gradually stir in the milk mixture until fully combined.

Alternately add yeast mixture and rest of the flour, be sure you mix well between additions.

Mix well.

Knead until the dough forms a ball and does not stick to sides of bowl.  You may have to add some more flour (1 Tbs. spoon at a time) to get the dough to the proper consistency.

Cover with a cloth and set aside in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size. About 1-2 hours.

Meanwhile mix all the filling ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

When dough has doubled in size place the ball into a lightly floured surface.

Pinch of pieces of dough to form a ball about 2″.

Flatten dough and using a rolling pin roll each ball into disks about 4″ in diameter.

Place a heaping Tbs. of filling in the center of dough.  Form filling into a line across the diameter.  Fold dough over meat and pinch both ends to seal.

Place filled piroshki on to a sheet with the seam side down and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.

Heat enough oil in a pan deep enough so that the piroshkis will be at least halfway immersed in oil.

Place piroshki in hot oil seam side down.  Fry until golden brown.

Gently flip over and fry other side.

Drain cooked piroshki on paper towels before serving.

Meat Filled Piroshki
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Blistered Peppers Tapas

Blistered Peppers Tapas

Tapas some of my favorites things when visiting Spain.  Tapas are appetizers or snacks that are generally eaten in the evenings before dinner.  We usually enjoy them with a  pitcher of Sangria.

Tapas are usually smaller servings of Spanish favorites and are a great way to sample a variety of dishes.   They can be hot or cold and range from olives to small bowls of scampi style shrimp.  One of our favorites are Blistered Peppers, they go great with Blistered Olives which can be green or black olives.

In Spain this particular tapa is made with Padron or Shishito peppers.  Those peppers are about 10 times milder than a jalapeno pepper; blistered peppers are generally on the sweet peppery side not the spicy side like jalapeno or habanero peppers.

But Padron and Shishito peppers are not easy to find in the US.  So I had to look for an alternative.  After experimenting with different types of green peppers I can honestly say that you probably won’t be able to find anything equivalent, however you may be able to come close.  I’ve found that the closest substitute are Anaheim Peppers although they will have more heat and are bigger than either Padron or Shishito Peppers.  Another option I’ve used are Serrano Peppers which are easier to find in Hawaii.  Serrano Peppers are about the same size as Padron or Shishito Peppers but have more heat than either pepper and a bit more heat than the Anaheim pepper.

Whichever you ultimately use the process of making Blistered Peppers are the same.  So here’s my recipe.

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Blistered Peppers

Ingredients:

10-12 Fresh Peppers (Padron, Shishito, Anaheim, or Serrano Peppers which ever one you can find or prefer)

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

Coarse Sea Salt

Directions:

Wash Peppers leaving the stems on.

Dry peppers on a paper towel.

Heat Olive Oil in small frying pan.

Add peppers and gently cook in hot oil until skin starts to blister and turn sort of white.

Remove from heat and toss in coarse sea salt to taste.

Serve hot or cold.  I like to serve them in small ramekins or mini cast iron skillets


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Gambas al Ajillo Tapas – Shrimp in Garlic Sauce

Gambas al Ajillo Tapas – Shrimp in Garlic Sauce

Serving Tapas always remind me of my many trips to Barcelona.  One of my favorite tapas are Gambas al Ajillo or Shrimp in Garlic Sauce.  I love them with lots of crusty bread for dipping in that butter garlic sauce.

Tapas are small servings of Spanish foods.  They’re usually eaten with wine or cocktails in the evenings before dinner.  We enjoy them with a nice pitcher of Sangria.  They’re a great way to sample a variety of Spanish dishes.  I like to order a variety of Tapas and make a whole meal out of them.

Gambas al Ajillo are exactly like Shrimp Scampi.  They are delicious and best of all very easy to make!   I serve them hot off the stove on a mini cast iron skillet or a ceramic ramekin with lots of crusty baguette slices.  Here’s my recipe!

Gambas al Ajillo

Ingredients:

20 Medium shrimp (41/50 count) – peeled and de-veined with tail on

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

1/4 Stick Butter

1 Tbs. Finely Minced Garlic

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

Directions:

Heat Olive Oil in small skillet.

Melt butter in hot oil.

Add garlic and cook until garlic starts to turn brown.  Stir constantly to keep garlic from burning.

Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turns pink.

Squeeze lemon juice over all.

Serve hot with crusty slices of bread.

Gambas al Ajillo Tapas - Shrimp in Garlic Sauce
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Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas is a favorite Spanish Tapa.  Tapas of course are small portions of Spanish food that’s usually served with cocktails at bars or as appetizers.  Or several types of Tapas can be cobbled together to make a meal.  I love Tapas!  It’s a great way to sample different types of Spanish food in one sitting.

Patatas Bravas is one of my favorites.  It’s a simple dish of fried or baked potato wedges or cubes in a spicy sauce.  I always order it when we’re in Barcelona or any other Spanish town or city.  But traveling may prove to be difficult this year and we won’t be going on our usual Med Cruise or other European vacations.  That’s why I’ve been making some of our favorite foods at home.  After all eating local foods is a big part of traveling!

Lately I’ve been on a Spanish food kick and Patatas Bravas has been on top of my to make list.  Everyone in my house loves it that it’s now become a family favorite.  I serve it as an appetizer and as a side dish, either way it’s delicious!

Most places serve it with a mayonnaise based Garlic Aioli, but I like it without.  You can make a simple Aioli by mixing together mayo, garlic powder, and lemon juice.  Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh chopped chives.

Patatas Bravas

Ingredients:

6-8 Yukon Gold Potatoes – peeled and cut into wedges

2 Tbs. Olive Oil

1 Tsp. Minced Garlic

2 Tbs. Smoked Paprika

2 Tsp. Chili Powder

2 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1/2 Tsp. Salt

1/4 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1/2 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper flakes

Directions:

Place potato wedges in a large pot and cover with water.

Bring water to boil and reduce heat.

Cook uncovered for about 8-10 minutes or until just tender. (you don’t want them too soft, they will fall apart)

Drain and pat potatoes dry with paper towel.

Place in bowl.

Toss potatoes in Olive Oil and Garlic until evenly coated.

In a small bowl combine the rest of the spices and sprinkle over potatoes.

Toss potatoes in spice mix until evenly coated.

Place potatoes on a baking sheet, spread out in a single layer.

Bake in pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until crispy.  Stir potatoes about half way thru baking time.

Serve warm with or with out Aioli.

Patatas Bravas
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