It is that lovely time of year when Coho salmon is fresh-caught and available in the local market, along with fresh local greens. Refrigerated, but not frozen, the salmon bakes up in just twenty minutes for a medium rare salmon steak. This is my second week enjoying it with a light salad and smashed yellow potatoes. Seasonal and delicious, both wins.
Medium rare coho salmon over potatoes with green salad. Photo by Ria Loader
Tiny tomatoes, halved
White baslamic infused with peaches and citrus
Yellow potatoes, steamed, mashed
Oven at 350 degrees
Salmon steak with lemon zest, mango puree and pepper
Bake for 15-20 minutes
Rough slice butter lettuce
Slice tomatoes in half
Drizzle with white baslamic infused with peach / citrus
(white baslamic will do okay. Add some zest to taste)
I added a scone sliced in half as I had made those the previous day
Coho salmon, fresh scone and greens – Photo Ria Loader
My sister taught me this recipe when she was here over the summer. In Australia we call these ‘scones’ and in America, these are often called ‘biscuits’. It’s a quick recipe that relies on the ‘shortness’ of the pastry by way of butter. In this case, it is low salt, and low sugar, but not low in fat, just so you know. The buttery taste is the point, in this case. Something that satisfies the craving for fat, but without blowing out the salt requirement. Giving in to cravings occasionally is a good way to stick to the low-salt diet.
2 cups of flour
2 tablespoons flour for coating the final mix
1/2 cup baking sugar (or splenda, xylitol, date sugar, your choice)
1 egg (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk (or substitute)
1 stick of butter
Chopped dates, apricots, sultanas, raisons
Combine the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, fruit
Soften the butter and combine by hand until it makes ‘crumbles’
Make a well in the middle
Add the milk (Colleen says the milk should be 1/3 up the well so vary accordingly. I just pour it by eye)
Combine by hand until it sticks together
(yes, you can add extra flour or milk to make it sticky but maleable but do not overwork it)
Form into a rough square about an inch thick
Cut with a knife into 12-16 pieces
Rough form with palms and put onto parchment covered baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart
Put into pre-heated oven at 400 degrees farenheight for 18-22 minutes until golden
Done when they spring back
Cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!
Red white and blue fruit salad – Image by Ria Loader
The past few weekends have included a trip to the local farmer’s markets, both in the U District in Seattle, and the new Shoreline Farmer’s Market at City Hall. The fresh produce has been delicious – tomatoes, tiny potatoes, greens and fresh fruit. This week I’ve been making fruit salad as part of dinner. It’s a good combination with a protein, and with creamy gouda on the side, it feels like dinner and dessert at the same time.
Red, white and blue
For 4th July, I made a red, white and blue salad using berries and nectarines.
1 pint raspberries
1 pint blueberries
3 medium sized white flesh nectarines
2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
crystalized lemon (1/4 teaspoon)
Chop the nectarines in 1/2 inch chunks, wash and combine the berries. No salt in the recipe at all. You can feel free to substitute the agave nectar for something else, sugar free vanilla syrup works, or honey if you like it better. The lemon adds a brightness of flavor to the raspberries. You could also use lemon juice.
One of my favorite comfort dishes is tiny potatoes pan fried in a wok with herbs, accompanied by fresh-made onion relish. For a 3 pound bag of golden potatoes, I use only one stick of butter. It takes only ten minutes to chop everything, and twenty minutes to fry up the potatoes and then the onions. Drain the potatoes in paper towels in a bowl while you fry the onions at the end.
3 lbs of potatoes – golden baby potatoes
Herbs – Herbs of Provence, or fresh rosemary from the garden
Butter – no salt, a swirl of olive oil to stop the butter from burning
A teaspoon of olive oil
Greek yoghurt with honey (optional finishing ingredient to smooth out the flavors)
A non-stick wok, stir with a wooden spoon
Heat – High
Use the left-over browned butter in the bottom of the wok
Add chopped onions at high heat, stir constantly
A cup of raisons
Chocolate balsamic vinegar (regular white balsamic otherwise)
Two tablespoons brown sugar
Tiny chopped tomatoes
Finish off with a dollop of honey yoghurt
It is a dish with no salt, and the sweet and sour onion relish is perfect with it. Better than going out to a restaurant any day.
I have been learning to bake, one step at a time. My approach is to master a single recipe, then try variations on that one with other ingredients, calling my sister in Australia for midnight inspiration as often as not. For the holidays, I wanted to make a fruitcake like I remembered from childhood, but without the bits I didn’t like, such as peel, cherries and nuts. Of course, I called my sister to get a recipe, and some suggestions on how to experiment, as she’s my inspiration for such things. She suggested I start with the Divine Date Loaf recipe, soak a bunch of raisins, sultanas, currants and diced apricots in alcohol, and add them until the batter couldn’t coat any more fruit. This sounded good to me, and I proceeded to experiment from there.
Variations on Divine Date Loaf
Substitute gluten free flour for plain flour
Use barley malt syrup instead of molasses
Add a cup of honey for sweetness
Soak about 3 cups chopped sultanas, raisins, apricots,
currants in 1 cup rum + 1 cup brandy for 3 days, stirring each day.
Add cup of honey, lemon crystals or zest to this mix.
Cook at lower temperature (300 instead of 375 degrees) for 40 minutes
Stand small loaf pans in water bath to prevent burning
At the 30 minute mark, turn off heat and put aluminum foil on top of pans (prevents burning)
I made 4 mini loafs and a bunch of muffins in large silicon muffin moulds. It was golden, delicious and like nectar. Mmmmmm.