Monday, February 28, 2011

Sausage and Grape Pizza

Typically on a Monday morning, I'd be telling you about our menu for the week but, this weekend we had a little accident with the new car. (We are both fine & the car has barely any body damage but, one of the wheels won't steer anymore.) Since we are a one car family that means we are currently carless so, there was no Sunday trip to the grocery store & menu planning. Until I know when I'll have a car again, it'll be freezer & pantry scavenging to make meals (maybe mot such a bad thing as both could use a little clear out.

Anyway, instead of a menu today you get this amazing pizza that we had for dinner Friday night.
Sausage & Grape Pizza with Balsamic Reduction
This pizza was inspired by one of our favorite appetizers at Broder's Pasta Bar. They grill up some Italian sausage & serve them with grapes & a balsamic reduction. Well, we like sausage on pizza & grapes on pizza so, why not turn the whole dish into a pizza? I stayed pretty close to the inspiration dish just adding some Fontina cheese & onions. The final result was really one great pizza. Spicy from the sausage, sweet from the grapes and a little acid from the balsamic all tied together by the creamy fontina. It made for a great dinner but would also make a wonderful party appetizer.
Sausage & Grape Pizza with Balsamic Reduction
We are experimenting we different pizza dough right now & tried this one on Serious Eat's this time. It was very simple to put together & made for a very crisp, basic crust. It really stood up to the toppings. I didn't have the bread flour so I used all-purpose mixed with a little vital wheat gluten. It is one you have to either make the day before or 3 - 4 hours before baking. We had to press it out very thin to get the two 12" pizzas it said it made.

Sausage & Grape Pizza

Pizza crust dough for for two 12" pizzas
8 oz bulk hot Italian sausage (you can use mild but the spice really plays well here)
1/2 large white or yellow onion, sliced thin
olive oil
grated Fontina cheese
1 c seedless grapes, sliced in half (we used black grapes but any will work)
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1 t brown sugar

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Put the sausage & onions in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté, breaking the sausage apart, until the sausage is cooked & the onion are soft & starting to brown.

Lightly coat a baking sheet with some olive oil. Press the crust out until you get a thin large pizza (our's filled our whole baking sheet almost). Cover with grated cheese, sausage, onions & grapes.

Bake until the crust is golden brown & the cheese is bubbly, about 12 - 13 minutes.

While the pizza is baking bring the balsamic vinegar to a simmer in a small skillet or saucepan. Whisk in the brown sugar. Let simmer, stirring from time to time, until reduce almost in half & thicken slightly.

Remove pizza from the oven & drizzle with reduced balsamic,

2 - 3 main dish servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash

Last weekend Matt & I went to Northeast Social for dinner. I torn between ordering their gnocchi dish or the filet minion special. The filet won because I figured I could easily do my own take on the gnocchi at home. So, here it is....
Gnocchi with Brussels Sprout & Butternut Squash
Gnocchi mixed with roast brussels sprouts, butternut squash, & onions, walnuts & cranberries then topped with a sage cream sauce. I have no idea if it was really anything like the one at Northeast Social but it sure was tasty, not to mention colorful & full of different textures. Roasting the vegetables really brings out the best in their flavor, especially the brussels sprouts, which I think roasting tones any bitterness down.  The subtly flavored sauce holds everything together with its creamy goodness. Its the kind of dish that could easily become a staple in our house through fall & winter.

Other than the time it takes to roast the vegetables, which is pretty much hands off, this meal comes together super quickly. Even quicker if like me you used store-bought gnocchi.

Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash in Sage Cream Sauce

8 oz butternut squash, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8 brussels sprouts, cut in half
half a white or yellow onion, but into wedges
1 T olive oil
kosher salt
1/2 T unsalted butter
20 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/2 c white wine
2/3 c heavy cream
freshly ground pepper
pinch of nutmeg
8 oz gnocchi
2 T chopped walnuts
2 T dried cranberries
grated Parmesan (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Put the butternut squash, brussels sprouts & onions in a small roasting pan. Add the olive oil & a sprinkle of salt. Stir to coat. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes until the squash is soft & the brussels sprouts & onions are starting to brown. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sage, white wine & cream. Bring to a simmer. Let simmer until reduced to about 3/4 cup & slightly thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with a salt, a generous amount of pepper & a pinch of nutmeg. Stir in the roasted vegetables, walnuts & cranberries. Warm through.

Cook gnocchi according to directions. Drain & stir in with sauce. Serve with grated Parmesan if desired.

Makes 2 servings.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekly Menu 2/21 - 2/26/11

Just in from two hours of shoveling the 13 inches of snow that fell yesterday. In February, we typically get a total of 8 inches & we got 13 in one day! Just 3 more inches & it'll be the snowiest Minnesota winter on record.
More snow
Luckily, we prepared & went to the grocery store on Saturday so we could just settle in & watch it fall. That kind of day calls for some good comfort food & the Giouvesti with Keftedes (or what I like to call Greek meatballs with orzo) from Kalofagas totally fit the bill.
Giouvesti with Keftedes
The meatballs are tender & full of flavor from allspice, onion, garlic & oregano. The orzo absorbs stock & tomato sauce flavored with smoked paprika while baking which makes is incredibly creamy. I'm so looking forward to leftovers for lunch today.

On to Menu Planning Monday...

Smoked Salmon Chowder - this was one last week's menu but we ended up eating out Thursday - Sat.

Chili - got some new beans from Rancho Gordo to try

Gnocchi with brussels sprouts & butternut squash in sage cream

Pizza with sausage & grapes

Something with chicken breasts - I'm hoping something exciting hits me.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

West African Peanut and Chicken Stew

A while back my friend Susi forwarded me a recipe for West African Peanut Soup with Chicken. She said that she & her husband loved the flavor of it except they had been making it as more of a stew than a soup. Well, I looked at the list of ingredients, peanuts, ginger, garlic, kale, tomato, sweet potato, & knew it was something Matt & I would love too.
West African Peanut & Chicken Stew
I agreed with Susi that is sounded better as a stew so, I adjusted the liquids in the recipe quite a bit. I left out almost all the stock but, unlike the original recipe I added the juice of the tomatoes. This was just enough liquid to cook the sweet potatoes in & make a nice sauce. The other main change I made was to add some Sriracha, the final dish really improved with a touch of heat.

This was a fantastic meal. We really liked the way the peanut flavor went with all the other ingredients, even kale. I've made other African dishes like this in the past & have found them rather bland so, I was happy that this one was so full of flavor. It is quite a hearty dish so, you could even skip the rice we served it over but, we like to have something to soak up the extra sauce.

West African Peanut & Chicken Stew
(adapted from the New York Times)

2 T peanut or canola oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled & minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb of boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/4-inch slices
14.5 oz can of crushed or chopped tomatoes
1 c chicken stock or broth
1/4 t cayenne
4 oz kale, chopped, tough stems removed
3/4 c peanuts, roughly chopped by hand or in a food processor
1/4 - 1/2 c peanut butter (I used somewhere in the middle)
Sriracha
salt & pepper
hot rice

In a large high sided skillet or sauce pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, ginger & garlic & cook until the onion softens, about 3 - 4 minutes. Add the chicken & sauté another 5 minutes. Add the sweet potato, tomatoes (including juices). stock, cayenne, kale & 1/2 c of the peanuts. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover & let simmer until the chicken is cooked through & the sweet potatoes are tender, about 20 - 25 minutes.

Stir in the 1/4 cup peanut butter & a few squirts of Sriracha (judge based on how hot you like things). Taste & add more peanut butter if you wish plus salt & pepper as needed.

Serve over hot rice. Sprinkle servings with remaining peanuts.

Makes 4 - 5 servings.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

French Onion Soup for Two

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day yesterday. We certainly did. There were homemade cards, a bouquet of flower & champagne. For dinner, I made Matt French Onion Soup, a soup he loves but I just never make. I don't know why since it's so easy to make &, other than the time it takes for the onions to cook, comes together really quickly.
French Onion Soup for Two
This is not exactly a traditional French onion soup as I didn't use beef broth. We aren't huge fans of beef broth, there is just something about the flavor, so, I decided to go with chicken stock instead. Also, we have a freezer full of homemade chicken stock. We thought the end result was just as good as any version we've had made with beef broth. The other main change I made to the original recipe was to add some malt vinegar. I think just a little bit of it helped cut through some of the sweetness of the slow cooked onions.

Topped with toasted bread & melted cheese it's a little bit of heaven in a bowl.

French Onion Soup for Two
(adapted from The Big Book of Soups and Stews)

1 T butter
1 lb, white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t white sugar
3 c chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 t worcestershire sauce
1 t malt vinegar
2 T red wine (a good excuse to open a bottle to drink with dinner)
1 bay leaf
pinch of dried thyme
salt & fresh pepper to taste
petite baguette, cut into 1/2 - 3/4 inch slices
grated gruyere

In a heavy soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic & stir well. Turn heat to low, cover & let cook for 15 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in sugar. Continue to cook uncovered on low, stirring from time to time, until the onions are very tender & light brown, about an 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

Add the stock, worcestershire, vinegar, wine, bay leaf, thyme, salt & pepper. Bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes.

You can prepare the cheese bread for the top two ways.

This version works well if you don't want to out your soup bowls in the broiler. Put the sliced bread on a baking sheet & broiled one side until crisp. Then we turned the slices over topped with the cheese & returned to the broiler until bubbly. Place the cheese bread on top of the soup.

Or you can put the soup in ovenproof bowls, top with bread slices & cheese. Put the whole thing in the broiler until the cheese is bubbly.

Makes 2 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, February 14, 2011

Weekly Menu 2/14 - 2/19/11 plus a Sweetheart of a Drink

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. Our Red Velvet Creme Brulees are out of the oven cooking & onions are caramelizing for French Onion Soup. Now all we need is a special drink. I made a cranberry vanilla infused simple syrup that is perfect for making a sweet pink Valentine's soda or cocktail.
Cranberry Vanilla Soda (or Cocktail)
The prominent flavor here is really the vanilla with just a touch of sweetened cranberry.

Cranberry Vanilla Infused Simple Syrup

2 c water
2 c white sugar
2 c cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 vanilla bean, sliced in half

Put everything in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a simmer while stirring to melt the sugar. Use your spoon to help pop the cranberries as they soften. Stir while simmer for 1 minute then let simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn heat off & let cool. Strain through a fine sieve into an airtight container. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

It will get jelly like in the fridge so you may want to bring it to room temperature before using to make drinks.

Makes 3 cups

To make soda: Mix 6 - 8 tablespoons of syrup into club soda or carbonated water

To make a champagne or vodka cocktail: Mix about 1 - 2 tablespoons of syrup into cold vodka or champagne

On to Menu Planning Monday...

French Onion Soup followed by Red Velvet Creme Brulee

West African Peanut Stew

Orzo with Keftedes from Kalofagas

Smoked Salmon Chowder

Molé Inspired Chili - basically just chili with a little cocoa in it.

Dinner & a Movie out

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Red Velvet Creme Brulée for Two

As you know Matt & I love to eat out but we tend to avoid restaurants on holidays like Valentine's Day. The crowds, over-priced set menus & harried servers don't make for what we consider a special dining experience. So, we chose another night to go out & cook something special up at home. This year I decided to make Matt some French Onion Soup, his favorite, & something special for dessert. Since he is in San Francisco this week (someone explain to me why he gets to go to SF & Austin the two coldest weeks of the year & I get left in Mpls?!) I had some time to play with dessert ideas. I wanted something red velvet but not just your regular red velvet cake. At first I thought of panna cotta but I've watched enough Top Chef to know if you don't know what you're doing it won't set right. Then I thought of creme brulee. There are chocolate creme brulees so why not red velvet?!
Red Velvet Creme Brulee
I took the basic creme mixture, cream, egg yolks & sugar & added some cocoa, buttermilk & of course, red food coloring to turn it into red velvet.
Red Velvet Creme Brulee
The end result was a creamy, almost mousse like, brulee with a dark red crispy top & red velvet inside. The flavor was not overly sweet & just chocolatey enough. I can't wait to make it for Matt on Monday but, in the meantime, this test batch is all mine!
Red Velvet Creme Brulee

Red Velvet Creme Brulée for Two

3 large egg yolks
2 T white sugar
2 T unsweetened cocoa
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 c buttermilk
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 - 1 t red food coloring
More sugar for the top (white or brown though I tried brown the second time & it worked a lot better)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Whisk the egg yolks & sugar together until well blended. Shift in the cocoa & whisk until there are no lumps. Whisk in the vanilla. Slowly whisk in the buttermilk & cream. Stir in the food coloring.

Put two 1 cup ramekins into a larger baking pan. Divide the batter between the two ramekins. Pour enough boiling water in the baking pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully move into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. You want the sides to be set but the center to still be a little wobbily.
Red Velvet Creme Brulee out of the oven
Let cool in the water for 30 minutes. Remove from the water bath, cover & refrigerate for 2 - 24 hours.
Red Velvet Creme Brulee
Sprinkle the top of the brulee with a good amount of sugar & melt with a torch or in the broiler. Keep a really close eye on it so the sugar doesn't burn. I find moving the torch around a lot helps though I did get a few little burns still.

Makes 2 servings.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken and Banana Curry

A few very ripe bananas were lingering in our freezer but didn't feel like baking up banana bread so, what to do with them? Then it hit me, curry!
Chicken & Banana Curry
Bananas have that kind of subtle sweetness that goes perfectly with the spices found in curry. They are also a great pairing with coconut milk. I think of this as sort of a blend of Caribbean & South Asian. It may just be one of the best curries I've thrown together to date.

This is a curry that comes together really quickly with the chicken braising in the sauce. I went the easy route & just used a good curry powder but feel free to blend your own spices. If you want a little more banana texture to it slice a firmer banana in at the end.

Chicken & Banana Curry
(We ended up with a little more sauce than needed so you could easily add at least two more thighs to this.)

1 T vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into wedges
2 T curry powder
1 t coriander
1/4 t cinnamon
2 over ripe bananas
2 c chicken stock
2 T brown sugar
1 T lime juice
Sriracha
salt & pepper
4 chicken thighs, bone-in but skinless
5.5 oz coconut milk

In a large heavy pot heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion & cook until translucent. Add the curry powder, coriander & cinnamon. Stir for 1 minutes. Add the bananas & mash. Stir in chicken stock, brown sugar & lime juice. Add a few (or many) dashes of Sriracha, depending on your heat tolerance. Season with a big pinch of salt & a few grinds of pepper. Add the chicken thighs & bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer for 30 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk. Let simmer uncovered while cooking rice, about 20 minutes. Check for seasoning & adjust as needed.

Serve over hot rice.

Makes 3 - 4 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Three B's Soup

3 B's? Yes, beans, bacon & beer. Sounds good, right?

Throughout the year we've saved the little bits of leftover dried beans & lentils in a jar Matt has marked as "bean soup."
IMG_7862
The jar was full so it was time to throw everything in the crock pot & whip up (well, slow cook) a hearty soup that will last us all week.
Three B's Soup
Other than precooking the vegetables & bacon this soup is pretty much hands off. Since you are slow cooking the beans there is no need to presoak them. Using different beans & lentils gives the soup different textures & flavors. The flavor of the beer really comes through in the broth so make sure to use something good. We used a Belgium blonde ale but I think a dark beer would be great too, maybe something with some smoky undertones. Serve with some crusty bread & you have a warming winter lunch or dinner.

Three B's Soup

3 slices of bacon, chopped
2 med. yellow onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb mixed beans (ours had a some lentils in it too)
12 oz beer (we used a blonde ale)
6 c water
large handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped
salt & pepper
1 T verjus or lemon juice

In a large skillet cook the bacon over medium-high heat until it starts to render its fat. Add the onion, carrots, celery & garlic. Sauté until the onions are translucent & the bacon is crispy. Drain fat if you wish, I didn't bother, & add everything to a large crock pot.

Rinse & pick through your beans then add them to the crock pot. Add the beer, water & parsley. Cover & turn crock pot to high. Let cook until the beans are tender about 4 hours.

Taste & season with salt, pepper & verjus or lemon juice.

Makes 6 - 8 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ginger and Lemongrass Soda

The other night when we were at Corner Table for dinner we got to try a little of Scott's fermented ginger & parsnip soda. It was so good that it had Matt & I thinking about what flavors of soda we could make at home. We decided to go with ginger because I love ginger ale & added the lemongrass because I had a few stalks lingering in the crisper.
Ginger & Lemongrass
The thing with making soda is you have to have a way to carbonate it. Scott does this by adding yeast & letting it ferment, similar to making beer. We went a much easier route & used our Sodastream which is a super easy way to carbonate water. You could also use a spritzer bottle or just buy some soda water. From there all you need is some flavor infused simple syrup to add to the carbonated water.
Homemade Ginger Lemongrass Soda
This flavor turned out even better than we expected. The ginger flavor & aroma are quite strong with that little bit of burn only fresh ginger has. Then there is that subtle hint of the lemongrass, the perfect compliment. It would make one heck of a mixed drink. Plus it's not overly sweet & doesn't contain artificial anything! Matt thinks it's a lot better than Sodastream's ginger ale syrup. After this success I'm looking forward to trying lots of other flavor ideas.

Ginger & Lemongrass Soda
(This simple syrup would also make a great flavoring for ice cream.)

3 6-inch pieces of lemongrass, cut into smaller pieces
3 oz fresh ginger, peeled & cut into small pieces
2 c sugar
2 c water

Use a rolling pin or pestle to give the lemongrass & ginger a good mashing to release the flavors. Put the ginger, lemongrass, sugar & water into a small saucepan.
Ginger & Lemongrass Simple Syrup
Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to help dissolve the sugar. Once simmering, continue to stir for 1 more minute. Let simmer another 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat & let cool. Strain into an airtight container.

Makes 2 1/2 - 3 cups of syrup. You can keep the syrup in your fridge for quite a while.

To make the soda carbonate 1 liter of water. Mix in 1/2 c of the ginger lemongrass syrup.

Makes 1 liter

I experimented with how much syrup to add by adding 2 tablespoons at a time & tasting it until I was satisfied with the intensity of the flavor. Everyone's taste is different so I recommend doing the same thing until you discover your perfect ration.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Is It Beer Yet? - Second Fermentation

Thanks to a bout of stomach flu, first for Matt & then for me, we didn't get to move our beer to the second fermenter until this weekend (we had planned to do it last weekend). It technically doesn't have to be moved to a second fermenter but, it will help achieve a clearer beer with less sediment & prevent an off taste. (A lot of what I'm reading now though say second fermentation isn't recommend anymore unless you are actually doing a another fermentation by adding more sugar or yeast.)
Is It Beer Yet? - The Second Fermentation Is It Beer Yet? - The Second Fermentation
Is It Beer Yet? - The Second Fermentation Is It Beer Yet? - The Second Fermentation
At this point we actually have something that really looks & smells like beer, the hoppy aroma has mellowed out. Using a syphon Matt moves the beer to the second fermenter being careful to stop before any of the sediment or yeast cake comes through.
Is It Beer Yet? - The Second Fermentation Is It Beer Yet? - The Second Fermentation
Then he uses a thief to take a sample of the beer to test its gravity. He compares it to our original reading & discovers our beer is probably about 7% alcohol. The airlock is added & this time we put vodka in it instead of water because its sterile. It's seems fermentation is totally done with this batch based on the gravity & the fact that the bubbling in the airlock had stopped so, we can go right to bottling...stay tuned.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Salmon Pie

We have about 20 pounds of wild Alaskan salmon in the freezer that we bought this summer & I really need to start putting it in the menu. Problem is, I tend to think of salmon, & fish in general, as warm weather food not the hearty comforting stuff we like in the winter. Then I remembered a classic fish pie my friend made for her English husband a while back & realized that was just the ticket.
Salmon Pie
It may not be the prettiest dish but it's darn tasty.
I started looking a fish pie recipes online & there seems to be a lot of love out there for Jamie Oliver's. I don't think it's a very classic version, there's no white sauce for one thing, but oh, was it ever tasty & perfect for winter. It sounds really weird when you started reading the ingredients & method, grated carrot & celery as the base of the filling? Still, once cooked the flavors really blended together well & there is just a hint of sweetness that comes through which I found surprising. The salmon cooked up perfectly moist & flaky. I loved the fact there was very little precooking in this recipe except for the potatoes.

I stuck relatively close to Jamie's recipe in general but adapted based on what I had on hand. He used salmon, smoked haddock & prawns in his version. I chose to just use salmon which was more than enough fish in the pie. I cut back on the amount of cheese & added some sour cream to the filling. Finally, I added some milk to the potatoes to make them fluffier. We will make this again but next time I'll add some capers or olives for a little saltiness.

Salmon Pie
(adapted from Jamie Oliver)

2 russet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1-inch pieces
1 carrot, peeled & grated
2 celery stalks, grated
2 oz sharp cheddar, grated
chopped chile pepper, 1/2 - 1 depending on how hot you like it
8 - 10 oz salmon fillet, skin & bones removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 T verjus or lemon juice
big handful of flat-leafed parsley, chopped
1/4 c sour cream
salt & pepper
2 T olive oil
milk

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Put the potatoes in a pot of water to boil until soft, about 10 - 15 minutes. When cooked drain.

Meanwhile, in a 6 x 9 baking dish (an 8 x 8 would probably work too) mix together the carrot, celery, cheddar, chile pepper, salmon, verjus, parsley & sour cream. Season with a little salt & pepper.

Mash the potatoes with the olive oil, some salt & pepper & enough milk to make fluffy.

Top the salmon mixture with the potatoes. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.

4 servings.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski
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