Salmon has become sort of the steak of fish over the past ten years in the U.S. I have no data with which to prove that statement, but offer it up only from my own cooking, teaching, and eating experience. And how that happened is only your good guess, but I’d say it didn’t happen by itself.Continue reading
I spent a good deal of my life working for cash and life fulfillment as 1. a librarian and 2. a church music director. (I taught piano, too, on the side.) Both jobs, and I sometimes held them at the same time to make ends meet, helped fuel my love of cooking because libraries have cookbooks and church choirs love to eat.
It just happens that a lenten Friday Fish and St. Patrick’s occur on the same day this year. This is no lie: if you live in Chicago (and several surrounding areas) and are Catholic, you have special dispensation from the archbishop to eat corned beef instead of fish:
Ours is a merciful God. Chicagoland Catholics may enjoy the traditional corned beef and cabbage this Friday, despite the church’s practice of avoiding meat on Fridays during Lent. Cardinal Blase Cupich, leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago, has granted a dispensation. So have the bishops of the Joliet, Rockford and Gary dioceses.
A little Irish music to set you up for a bit of cooking: click here. And, in the Irish, as they say, “La fheile padraig!”
I’ve been making Salmon Chowder for a good long while; there’s a really easy and light version in my soup cookbook, SOUPS & SIDES FOR EVERY SEASON. If by chance you’ve made it, you’ll know it’s perfect spring or summertime fare for the day after you’ve grilled a big piece of salmon and don’t know what to do with the leftovers. Likewise it’s for fall or winter if you’ve roasted a side of salmon for company and only used the big fat inner slices for the dinner table, leaving the skinny ends smelling up the fridge. This year, though, I was into something a little different…
Late summer, 2014 in Dunsmore East, Ireland (the port for Waterford)
The Irish, along with my fair Scots, have some of the best salmon in the world, but more often make a mixed fish and seafood chowder such as Donal Skehan’s Howth Head Seafood Chowder.
Colcannon, that adoring Irish and Scottish mash of buttery potatoes and cabbage or kale, is the inspiration for my soup that’s feisty without being overblown. The bacon is a salty, crunchy touch that you can easily leave out for a vegetarian or vegan version. You might add some toasted, sliced almonds or crispy croutons instead. Make sure you have a pepper grinder at the table–or a bottle of hot sauce — for those who like spicy. Scroll down for recipe or enjoy a few of my photos from Ireland first; there are some way at the bottom, too.
Below: At the cathedral in Down Patrick, Northern Ireland August, 2014
Below: pub in Waterford. Dave’s first Guinness in Ireland. Definitely not his last.
Below: Shredded kale (Remove kale stems and slice in 1/4-inch ribbons for soup; sauté sliced stems separately for a salad addition.) Continue reading
This is also A Week of St. Pat’s Recipes, Friday…
There’s nothing like a scone. You can pronounce it skone or skahn, as does my friend, Marie, who’s from South Africa:
- “I asked the maid in dulcet tone
- To order me a buttered scone
- The silly girl has been and gone
- And ordered me a buttered scone.”
Long or short “o,” however you say scone, make a pot of tea while the scones bake and be sure your butter is softened–or your cream whipped, if you like that. My barely sweet little scones are a good foil for a savory frittata without moving all the way to sugar-high coffee cakes or Danish, which are more time-consuming at any rate. Along with some sliced (or grilled) tomatoes or a bit of salad, they round out a gorgeous brunch or lunch. If it’s brunch, you might stretch the occasion to include an Irish coffee for St. Patrick’s Day or another special Sunday.
Today’s frittata, laced with smoked salmon (an Irish specialty) and sautéed shallots and mushrooms, is topped with a horseradish yogurt sauce to highlight 38 Power Foods tribute to healthy, luscious yogurt:
|1/4 cup Greek yogurt + 1 tablespoon grated horseradish–Lovely for an omelet or grilled salmon.|
One cup of yogurt provides nearly 45% of your daily calcium needs, plenty of protein, many B vitamins, and minerals such as potassium and phosphorous. Best of all, though, is yogurt’s rich and healthful assortment of live bacteria that may help maintain the digestive system, boost the immune system, prevent yeast infections, and lower cholesterol. Calorie counts, as well as many other things, vary greatly between brands, but Chobani plain Greek yogurt is about 130 calories per cups and has 15 grams of protein.
smoked salmon frittata with horseradish yogurt
4 generous servings or 8 smaller ones
I used potatoes cooked the night before. If you need to cook potatoes, start with that. A quick way would be to microwave for 2 minutes or so and thensauté them with the shallots and mushrooms.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Pinch crushed rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped shallots
- 4 ounces thickly cut mushrooms (any)
- 1/2 cup chopped cooked potatoes, sweet potatoes, or a mixture
- 8 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1/2-inch x 1 – 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup Irish cheddar, shredded; divided (1/4 cup in the frittata and 1/4 cup for garnish)
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt/ I like Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon grated horseradish
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced
In a large sauté pan (12-14 inches in diameter), heat over medium flame the butter, oil, rosemary and pepper for one minute. Add the shallots and mushrooms; cook until softened, about three minutes.
Add cooked potatoes and cook another minute or two until potatoes are hot.
While the veg cooks: In a medium bowl, beat or whisk eggs with salt and stir in salmon and cheese. Pour egg mixture into pan and cook 3 minutes or until eggs are about half-set.
Meantime, in a small ramekin, whisk together the yogurt and horseradish; top with a grind of black pepper. Set aside.
Place pan in oven and let bake another 3-5 minutes or until eggs are set to your liking. Watch carefully at this point. Remove to a large cutting board, by banging pan on the counter a time or two to loosen eggs, and turning over quickly with a gentle slam to get the frittata onto the board upside down. Sprinkle with the other 1/4 cup of the cheese and let sit a minute before cutting into fourths or eighths, like a pie. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold with yogurt sauce and sliced or grilled tomatoes.
|Just out of the oven–the top is barely firm.|
|Bang and turn it out upside down onto a large board. Top with cheese.|
|Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm, at room temp, or cold.|
Notes: Frittata is an Italian word for omelet and is usually an open-faced omelet with vegetables and/or meats. While frittata ingredients are often cooked from scratch, it’s useful and expedient to use leftovers such as sliced ham or prosciutto, cooked shrimp, sautéed potatoes or asparagus, etc. Many people cook their frittatas totally stovetop; I prefer to start them on the stove and finish them in the oven–watching carefully to make sure they’re not over-cooked.
Frittatas are lovely leftover, julienned, for snacks with drinks or on an antipasti platter. They also make a great sandwich for someone just starved at next morning’s breakfast.
|I spent some time once on a sheep farm in Ireland. Lovely. Green.|
irish fruit scones adapted for American kitchens
original recipe by Edmund Cronin, THATCH COTTAGE, County Kerry
- 8 ounces all purpose, unbleached flour (1 3/4 cups approx.)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 50 g (2 ounces or 4 tablespoons) butter
- 50 g (2 ounces or 1/3 cup) granulated sugar
- 75 g (3 ounces or 1/2 cup) sultanas (raisins)–I used currants
- 1/4 pint/ 125 ml (1/2 cup approx) milk
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (425 F/ gas mark 7)
- Lightly grease a small baking sheet.
- Mix together flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar and raisins or currants.
- Add milk and mix to produce a soft dough.
- Turn the dough onto a floured board or counter and knead about a minute until well-combined and holding together.
- Roll out dough to about 3/4-inch thick. Using a floured 2-inch cutter, cut scones into rounds and place on baking tray.
- Brush with milk to glaze.
- Bake 12 minutes or until done to your liking; I like them a bit crisp on the outside.
- Remove scones to a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature with soft butter. (The Irish might serve these with whipped cream rather than butter.)
Buy a little package of Irish butter for these scones. You’ll be glad you did. Cows in Ireland are happy, happy campers and they make transcendent butter.
|Patted out dough waiting to be cut with a floured cutter or knife.|
Baker’s notes: I used a food processor fitted with a steel blade for steps 1-4, but I turned the mixture out and did the rest by hand, including working in the last of the milk. The dried fruit would be chopped finely if you continued in the food processor much longer. To do the whole thing by hand or with a pastry cutter would be fairly quick and simple, as well. Some cooks would just use their hands to get the butter into the flour; I find it melts too much from the heat of my hands and prefer a metal cutting force of some sort–either the pastry cutter or the food processor blade.
I made these scones Thursday for lunch (we need natural light for photography) and we –well, mostly Dave — gobbled them right up. You could eat a lot of these; mine were small. I’m making them again for Dave’s monthly men’s breakfast at church. I made the dough, patted it into a round, wrapped it tightly in plastic, and refrigerated it. My plan is to bake them and send them warm to the guys. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I, however, have no butter to go with them because I stupidly left out butter on the table from having friends over. Miss Gab ate all of it and then got into the soft cooking butter I keep on the counter in the kitchen.
|aka BUTTER GIRL|
beat beat beat
People always talk about the green in Ireland; I loved the oh-so-blue sky:
You can order smoked Irish salmon via Burren’s (North County Clare) from anywhere in the world here. or call T: +353 65 7074432.
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38 Power Foods is a Team Effort!
Stop by these other blogs and see what they’re cooking each week as we team up to bring you some of the healthiest cooking available:
All sites may not blog power foods each week.
Sing a new song; listen to Rob Leveridge,
|Made in a deep, heavy 8 quart cast iron pot with a lid (Dutch oven)|
Last year around this time, I made a pot roast with big pieces of butternut squash and halved onions in the oven. A day later I took the leftovers, including the gravy, and made stew. Stew from leftovers is definitely an improvement over freshly made stew. There’s a deeper, fuller, and more flavorful rich quality–without question. It’s just that there’s usually less than when you make a fresh pot. That stew made very quickly with the addition of more onions, celery, and Guinness stout, etc., was divine. I mean it, it was an incredible stew. When my boss tasted it (and she’s a really good cook), she said, “Alyce cooks for God, you know.”
|At the top of Dublin’s Guinness brewery, there’s a 2DIE4 pub…here’s one view.
No who knows totally why one time things are so scrumptious you want more and more — and another time (same ingredients and method apparently) it’s like, “This is ok. Yeah, we can eat dinner here.” Perhaps it’s the quality of the meat (in the case of stew) or maybe it’s a little pixie dust. Your taste buds might be on their “A” game so that you are able to season the pot in an extraordinary way. Truly, I just don’t know. I know when I’m tired — really exhausted– the meal prepared under those circumstances is plebian. I just did that recently, so I know. I know when I don’t give something my undivided attention that it’s bound to be less interesting. (As in the kids are hungry-throw a bunch of cut-up chicken in the oven and make some rice for God’s sake.)
Despite the fact that I make several pots of stew over the winter each year, I remembered that one. I also remembered I was determined to recreate it from scratch if possible. Hence this pot of stew that, by the end of the cooking, morphed into one big pot pie.
|We could choose between three temperatures of Guinness pints. Dubliners love their Guinness and speak highly of the company that has employed and taken care of many of them over the years.|
**If you’d like stew only, add a cup or two more liquid, and skip the biscuits. You could, without question, make the whole pot of stew in a pot on the stove.
**I did not try it, but I’d guess it’s possible to make the stew all day in the crock-pot–cutting down the amount of herbs–, pour it into an oven-safe pot and bake with the biscuits right at dinner time.
**Another option might be (again, I didn’t try this) to cool the stew and top it with puff pastry, brushing the pastry with a little melted butter or an egg wash–one egg beaten well with a teaspoon of water. (If you put the puff pastry on hot stew, it’ll be melting.) You would then need to bake in a hot oven (400 degrees F) until the puff pastry was golden. That might appeal to some cooks more than making biscuit dough. Here’s a method.
**Like Bisquick biscuits? Go on; I won’t know, though I encourage you to learn to make biscuits. I once knew a woman whose husband insisted he married her because she could make beaten biscuits in her sleep.
** I also give directions –see “Cheddar-Dill Biscuits” scrolling down — for baking and serving the biscuits separately if that suits you better.
Come cold, there’s little more satisfying than a pot of stew in the oven. I encourage you to use the oven method if you can. Play cards. Listen to music. Watch “Michael” or “The Quiet Man,” if it’s St. Pat’s One of the interesting things about this stew is it’s made without potatoes though you could add some if you’d like. I prefer other root vegetables and stick with carrots, turnips, parsnips, as well as celery, onions, garlic, and butternut squash. I’ve you’ve no butternut squash, use extra carrots, parsnips, or a combination. Serve this with another couple of cold Guinness stouts or a glass of your favorite Syrah or Côtes du Rhône if you’re not a dark beer person. (You’ll still love the stew; I promise.)
guinness beef pot pie with cheddar-dill biscuits
a look and cook recipe
Total preparation and cooking time: approximately 2 1/2 – 3 hours.
( Read through before beginning. Scroll down for separate ingredients list and biscuit recipe)
|To the second batch of browning beef, add 2 large chopped onions. When beef is nearly brown, add four cloves chopped garlic. Cook a minute, return first batch of beef to the pot, and stir in 2 tablespoons flour. Cook 2 minutes, stirring.|
|Add 4 ounces quartered button mushrooms along with one each turnip and parsnip , 2 carrots, 2 stalks celery, and 1 cup of butternut squash, all cut into around 1/2 inch pieces.|
|Bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cover and bake in the oven 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until beef and vegetables are tender and sauce is thickened.|
|Remove from oven and take out the fresh herb sprigs.^ If stew is very, very thick, add a cup water or broth, but no more stout. Biscuits will soak up a lot of the liquid as they bake in the stew.|
|Meanwhile, make cheddar-dill biscuit dough. It’s a very wet dough. (See below for recipe.)|
|Spoon biscuit dough (I used a wooden spoon) onto the top of the cooked stew. Brush biscuits with a tablespoon of melted butter. Biscuits will rise and expand to nearly cover top of pie.|
|Return to oven and bake uncovered another 20-30 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.|
|Serve hot with a crisp green salad. Store leftovers well covered in frig 2-3 days. Rewarm in another casserole in oven.|
Ingredients List (see below for biscuit ingredients): 2-3 pounds beef chuck roast cut into 1 – 1 1/2 inch pieces; salt and pepper; 2 large onions; 4 cloves garlic; 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour; 2 cups each beef broth and Guinness stout**; 4 ounces button mushrooms; one each turnip and parsnip; 2 carrots; 1 cup cut butternut squash; 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1 bay leaf, and 1 sprig each rosemary, thyme, and sage*; 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish or Tabasco.
*You may substitute two teaspoons each dried rosemary (crumbled) and thyme with 1/2 teaspoon ground sage.
**If you don’t want to use beer, use all beef broth.
^ Leave in bay leaf. Whoever gets it has good luck!
cheddar-dill biscuits for pot pie
Cook’s Note: This recipe is for the biscuits cooked in the stew. If you want to bake a pan of these biscuits separately, decrease the milk to 2/3 of a cup and mix until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a floured board or counter and knead 10 times or so before patting or rolling out the dough until it’s about 1/2-inch thick. Cut biscuits out with a floured 2-inch round biscuit cutter. You could also cut the biscuits into squares or rectangles with a sharp knife. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220C/Gas Mark 7) on a baking sheet or in a big (10-inch) pie plate for 15 minutes or until golden. You can serve the biscuits with a pie server in the pie plate at center of the table. They’ll stay warm a good long while and your family or friends can help themselves.
- 2 cups unbleached white flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons dried dill
- 1/2 cup (4 tablespoons) cold butter, diced–plus 1 more tablespoon, melted for tops of biscuits
- 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (Irish cheddar would be fun.)
- 1 cup milk
Stir together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add cold butter and using a pastry blender or two knives (you can use just your fingers or even do the whole thing in a food processor), cut in the butter until the butter is mostly blended and the mixture appears sandy. Stir in cheese. Pour in milk and mix well without over-mixing. (Using a large spoon, divide dough fairly evenly around the top of the pot pie and brush with the tablespoon of melted butter before baking.)
Sing a new song; listen to Rob Leveridge,
(first posted october 2012 right here on More Time)
|photo copyright Alyce Morgan, 2003|
originally posted march 2010
Sing a new song,
This Week on Dinner Place…..