Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Picnic

It's been a very relaxing 3 day weekend. Unlike the last 3 day weekend I had off where I had a very bad sinus infection/mild bronchitis. On Saturday I attended the Singles Memorial Day Picnic at my friend Marilyn's house in Painted Post, NY. It was a lot of fun. It was the ultimate variety of all American picnic food. Today on the actual holiday we are having friends from church come over for a dish to pass style dinner. My dad is making his traditional Pulled Pork for the main entree. Pulled pork is a perfect Picnic entree. Grab yourself a bun and put on some of the yummy pulled pork and your all set. My dad also made some delicious crab cakes at the last minute that were amazing!! We've also been told there will be potato sald and a 3 been salad. For dessert I made an Icecream cake. I got the idea from Sandra Lee on the Food Network.
She had one of her fans on her show that day to demo their icecream cake. They mashed up some sandwhich cookies and than layered on the icecream. The flavors we chose were Vanilla, Chocolate, and Peanut Fudge Swirl. It's layers of cookies and icecream. Yum!
On a more healthy note, I just recently purchased the new Biggest Loser Cookbook. 6 Weeks to a healthier You. I plan to share some of those recipes with you as well. I'm going to try really hard this summer to eat healthy. I most certainly don't have a "food addiction" but I do love food. I am avid at working out but definitely need to focus more on the calorie count of what I'm eating. I hope you'll enjoy some of the recipes I share.

I pray you are all having a glorious Memorial Day. Right now I'm remembering all the soldiers who are out in the battlefields right now protecting our Freedom or have protected our Freeom in the past. I thank each and every one of them. Including the ones I know more personally. Corey Lee Cole, Everrete Enstine, Arthur Briggs, Steve Mallory, Douglas Brock (Army Chaplan) and members of my own family who have fought in wars previously.

Happy Memorial Day Everyone and Happy Cooking!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tyler Florences' Salt and Pepper Salmon

Well last night I had the urge to splurge a bit. I bought some Atlantic Salmon  at Wegmans. I apologize to my brother if he's reading this. :)  I think he said to only buy farm raised salmon. However, it was simply delicious. He called for a tbsp and a half of butter on each slice of salmon! Plus oil for the pan. I literally only used a little over a tbsp of butter plus the 2 tbsp of oil and actually had to take some butter out to be honest. That was all it needed! Why almost steam it in the butter? Yeah it's flavorful but you definitely not eating with a piece of mind that it's healthy. I absolutely love Salmon. It's really the only fish I'll eat. Sometimes when my dad cooks pike or trout I'll eat some but Salmon is truly my favorite. Plus, it's very good for you.I didn't do it precisely as the recipe called for, I only cooked the salmon and that was it.

For some reason I have a craving for Egg Plant Parm. I've never had it before. My dad has made it but I've always been nervous for some reason. Again, I don't know how Julie Powell was able to afford cooking her way through Julia's intense French cookbook in just one year! I blogged more frequently back when I first started but than it gets hard after a while to keep it up. For me 2 meals a week to blog is plenty. I can't imagine how much it cost to do that project. But It taught her how to cook. Just like the chefs on Food Network are helping me with!

Salt and Pepper Salmon

Tyler Florence
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence
Show: Tyler's UltimateEpisode: Ultimate Crispy Salmon


  • 1 salmon fillet (about 2 pounds), skin on, 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Smashed New Potatoes with Peas, Lemon, and Pearl Onions, recipe follows


Run your finger up and down the center of the salmon feeling for any pin bones. Remove any that you find with a needle-nosed pliers or tweezers. With a sharp knife cutting across the width of the salmon, divide it into 4 equal portions. Lightly salt the salmon and let sit a couple minutes; this will help you get crispy skin.
Heat a 2-count, about 2 tablespoons, of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is almost smoking. Season the salmon with pepper, and rub about 1 1/2 tablespoons butter on the skin side of each fillet. Add the salmon to the pan, skin-side down. To get super crispy skin, cook the salmon almost to completion, about 6 minutes.

Flip the salmon and cook until flesh side is nicely seared, 1 to 2 minutes.
Transfer the salmon to a platter and serve with the Smashed Potatoes.

Smashed New Potatoes with Peas, Lemon, and Pearl Onions:
1 1/2 to 2 pounds red bliss potatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (10-ounce) box frozen pearl onions, defrosted
Pinch sugar
Splash freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 slices lemon
2 (10-ounce) boxes frozen peas, defrosted
1 lemon, zested
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 heaping tablespoons roughly chopped fresh dill
1 bunch watercress, stems trimmed just above the rubber band

Put the potatoes into a large pot, cover them with cold water, and add a large pinch of salt. If they're large, cut them in half. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain. Stick a fork into the potatoes, 1 at a time, lift them out of the colander and peel with a paring knife. Toss the potatoes into a bowl and roughly crush them. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil with the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts.

Add the pearl onions, sugar, and lemon juice and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the lemon slices, peas, and lemon zest and continue cooking until the peas are hot. Season with salt and pepper. Dump the vegetables over the potatoes in the bowl, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil add the parsley and dill and taste for salt and pepper. Scatter the watercress over the top, fold it in just until it wilts and call it a day.

Til next time,
Happy Cooking Friends!