Archive | September, 2012

Crispy Salmon Cakes

21 Sep

I have been experimenting with salmon lately.  Salmon is very good for you but I have refused to eat for years.  I just had the thought in my head that salmon did not taste good and I only tasted it once or twice in the last 15 years.  For someone like me, that is always experimenting with food and constantly trying new recipes, this is actually very strange.  I had totally written off salmon as an option.  I also am a proponent for healthy, natural, organic foods and yet, salmon was off limits to my repertoire of healthy foods.  So I recently decided to give salmon a go.  My husband likes salmon and my daughter, who tried it for the first time because my mom brought some over, likes salmon too.

Crispy salmon cakes with sauteed kale and mushrooms served with mashed sweet potatoes

This is my second attempt at making salmon and I will blog about the first attempt with another blog post at a later date.  The moral of all this would be; don’t write off a food just because you tried it once or twice a long time ago.  Especially if that particular food is a super food.

Wild Sockeye Salmon

I recently started using Pinterest which is dangerous, time consuming, and absolutely wonderful!  I’ve found loads of new recipes to try and exciting ideas for baking!  I’m in love and this recipe for crab cakes came by way of Pinterest.   I made a few changes to it:

Ingredients:

2 strips of pastured bacon, cooked in the oven at 400 degrees until crispy(about 15 minutes), bacon fat reserved and bacon set aside to cool and then crumble.

1/4 cup chopped organic onion

1 medium organic egg

1/2 cup soy-free mayonaise (because I’m allergic to soy) if you use soy, Always use organic soy products!

2 tsp organic Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp organic cane sugar, Fair trade whenever possible

1/2 lemon, zested

2 1/2 wild sockeye salmon pieces (15 ounces), baked at 400 degrees with olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper, 10-15 minutes, cooled, skin removed, and flaked. Avoid farmed salmon like the plague!

Wild Salmon, individually wrapped

1 medium organic white potato, baked, cooled, peeled, and fluffed with a fork

1/4 cup soy-free bread crumbs (Whole Foods 365 brand)

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Black Pepper

Olive oil or expeller pressed canola oil and reserved bacon fat for cooking

Directions:

I baked the salmon, potato, and bacon at the same time earlier in the day to  give them a chance to cool.  I put the salmon in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon fat in a small saute pan over low heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Cool the onions for a bit.

Mix the bacon, onion, egg, mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, and lemon zest in a bowl. Add the salmon and potato, mixing gently after each addition. Separate into 12 parts, onto a plate.  The mixture is wet, which is good but hard to work with.  Place the plate with the salmon, into the freezer for about 15 – 20 minutes.  It will be much easier to work with semi frozen/very cold.

In a shallow dish, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and pepper, to taste. Very carefully, press the salmon into patties and cover with the the bread crumbs.  It is easier to do 4 at a time and keep the uncoated salmon in the fridge or freezer.  Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and/or bacon fat in a large saute pan over medium heat, and cook the salmon cakes in batches until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add more oil, as necessary. Remove the cooked patties to a plate and continue with the next batch.

I served these patties with an amazing Kale and Mushroom dish which is a Rachel Ray recipe.

Picture of Smothered Mushrooms and Kale Recipe

I followed this recipe almost exactly. I used white organic mushrooms because that is what I had. I also used Sherry Cooking Wine instead of Marsala wine. My husband and my oldest daughter loved the kale! It was really good and I would definitely make it again!
I also paired this dish with mashed sweet potatoes. I was hoping to have leftover potatoes to make sweet potato cakes with, but we ate them all!

For the potatoes:
I baked 2 large sweet potatoes at 400 degrees until they were soft, about 40 minutes. Keep an eye on them because they tend to drip and one potato was done before the other. I let them cool off a bit and then peeled them and mashed them up with a little organic heavy cream, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, and organic brown sugar to taste. So easy, yet so tasty!

Loaded Potato Wedges

16 Sep

Loaded Potato Wedges

Football season is here and I wanted to experiment with a favorite type of food most likely served at sports bars around the country: Loaded Potato Skins. I’m actually not a big fan of potato skins, but I am a fan of potato wedges and cheese fries. I thought…hmmm…what if I made loaded potato wedges that combines two favorite potato styles that I love!

I found this great recipe for garlic potato wedges here at The Purple Foodie blog.   I used this recipe for a basis of this great dish!  These potato wedges are delightful by themselves too!  I changed the recipe a little, I ususally change recipes to suit my own tastes, to use organic ingredients, and to make dishes soy-free.  I have food allergies and have to make mostly everything from scratch.   I always look for organic and non-gmo versions of ingredients in all of my recipes.

Non-gmo cornstarch

8 smashed garlic cloves

6 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive oil

5 organic potatoes, washed and cut into wedges

2 tablespoons of non-gmo cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1/2 tablespoon Simply Organic Ranch Dressing Mix

2 oz monteray jack cheese

2 oz colby jack cheese

4 slices of pork bacon, farm fresh pastured piggies with no antibiotics or hormones

Homemade Ranch for dipping or Organic sour cream and chives

Green Onions for garnish if desired (I didn’t have any on hand today, but I’m sure it would have tasted great!)

1.  Smash garlic cloves, remove skins.  Put the olive oil in a small saucepan with the garlic and heat to a slow simmer.  Turn off the heat and let it marinate.

2. Place the bacon on a baking sheet and put into a cold oven.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Flip the bacon after 10 minutes and cook 10 more minutes.  Depending on the thickness of the bacon, it may not need this long in the oven.  Please keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn or get too crispy.  Let the bacon cool and then crumble into bits.

3. While the bacon cooks, fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil.  Gently place the potatoes in the water and boil for 5 minutes.  Drain the potatoes and dry them on paper or cloth towels.

4.  Mix the cornstarch, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and ranch mix.

5.  Take 5 tablespoons of garlic oil and place on a baking sheet, you can use the same sheet you cooked the bacon on and you can use the oil from the bacon plus the garlic oil.  Don’t use more than 5 tablespoons oil total!  Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and toss in the oil.

6. Sprinkle the dry season mix over the potatoes and mix well but be gentle not to break the potatoes.  You will probably need to use your hands!  Don’t be afraid to get a little messy while cooking.

7.  Bake for 30 minutes on 440 degrees.  Turn the potatoes halfway through baking to get crispy all over.  Remove potatoes and place in a glass dish, cover with the shredded cheese and crumbled bacon.  Broil for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

8.  Serve the potatoes with sour cream and chives or ranch dressing.  Sprinkle with chopped green onions on top, if desired.

I use the Simply Organic ranch mix with the grassfed buttermilk and a soy-free mayo.

Organic ranch dressing mix and grassfed buttermilk

I have made ranch with my own seasonings before too, but the organic mix is just as good and so easy!  Enjoy and try not to eat all of it by yourself!  These are very addicting and I found it hard to stop!  The cayenne pepper gives a nice kick but if you are serving this to kids or someone that doesn’t like spicy, omit the cayenne pepper.