Browsing Tag

Salmon

Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salmon Seafood

Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers

Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers // Karista's Kitchen

Just when I think I’m tapped out and the creative well has gone dry, I stumble onto an interesting read or find a stack of old notebooks from years ago, brimming to the seams with ideas.  Some of the ideas are pretty darn clever and some not so good – which is why a few of those recipes never happened.

It’s been an interesting and creative few weeks (along with a monster of a cold that hung on like the winter back East).  I relish creative moments.  I write and I write and I write.  I don’t erase anything no matter how silly or gross tasting it might appear at that moment.  Because when I eventually come back to it, sometimes it makes perfect sense.  Creativity is a crazy process.  Creativity feels like freedom to think outside a box, letting imagination change perspective at will.

So, when new culinary companies approach me about their products, it’s one more opportunity to be creative.  I don’t promote too many food brands on this website but the few that I do promote must meet a few requirements. Does it identify with my food values? Would I serve it to my family?  Is it something my readers would enjoy?  Where and how is it made or grown or raised?

When Verlasso Salmon first contacted me about using one of my salmon recipes I was intrigued, and honestly, a little skeptical.  As you know I’m not a fan of farm raised fish of any kind. Verlasso Salmon is the exception; because it’s an exceptional product.

Not only is Verlasso Salmon the first and only farm raised Atlantic salmon to receive the “good alternative” buy ranking from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s seafood watch, the flavor and texture of Verlasso Salmon is almost identical to wild salmon.  I found the oil content balanced, the texture to be firm and less “mushy” than traditional farmed salmon and the taste every bit as flavorful as wild salmon.

Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers // Karista's Kitchen

Verlasso says “Verlasso’s driving force has been the call for a more responsible aquaculture worldwide. It guides all of our business efforts and continues to shape our approach for the long-term. We are taking the lead in establishing a new model for fish farming, one that’s always in balance with nature. It’s an evolutionary way of thinking about—and raising salmon.”

You’re probably saying to yourself “Karista, you live in the Pacific Northwest, home of wild salmon. Why are you talking about Atlantic salmon?” Because you, my readers, subscribers and followers of social media, live all over North and South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.  I feel lucky to live in the land of Pacific Northwest Salmon.  I value this resource and I’d like to keep it flourishing.  So when companies like Verlasso embark on such a noble cause, I want you to know about it.

For more information about Verlasso Salmon and their sustainable fish farming methods, along with additional salmon recipes, check out their website HERE.  

In the meantime, I created these delicious and festive Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers for Verlasso Salmon and now I’m sharing them with you.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers

8-10 Salmon Cakes

Asian Salmon Sliders with Cilantro Lime Aioli and Marinated Cucumbers

Ingredients

    For the Salmon Cakes
  • 1 lb Salmon
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Thai roasted red chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg, slightly whisked
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Panko style breadcrumbs
    For the Aioli:
  • ½ - ¾ cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lime zested
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon wasabi paste, optional
    For the Cucumbers
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • Serve with slider buns and fresh arugula leaves

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
  • Place the salmon on a baking sheet or in a baking pan and brush with a little olive oil. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place the salmon in the oven and roast the salmon for about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness. When the salmon is done, remove from the oven and let it cool.
  • While the salmon is cooking, whisk together the ½ - ¾ cup mayonnaise with the finely chopped cilantro, lime zest and garlic. Set aside.
  • In a non-reactive bowl, add the sliced cucumbers and enough rice wine vinegar to cover the cucumbers. Let them sit and marinate for about 15 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
  • Once the salmon has cooled, shred the salmon, removing any bones and skin, and add it to a medium size bowl. Add the green onions, grated fresh ginger, Thai roasted red chili paste, lemon juice and about ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Mix with a fork until nicely incorporated.
  • Next, gently mix in the egg, mayonnaise and panko breadcrumbs until all the ingredients are nicely incorporated. Don’t over mix, just enough so the salmon will form into patties. If the salmon mix is too dry, add one additional tablespoon of mayonnaise.
  • Place the salmon mix in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to chill. This will help form the patties.
  • Divide the salmon mixture into 8-10 pieces and form patties.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil – enough to cover the bottom of the skillet.
  • When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the patties to the skillet. Let the salmon cakes cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side until dark golden brown, almost toasted in color. Adjust the heat lower if the salmon cakes get too dark too quickly.
  • Once the salmon cakes are done, place each salmon cake on a slider bun and serve with the cilantro lime aioli, marinated cucumbers and fresh arugula leaves. Enjoy!
  • Recipe by Chef Karista Bennett
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    Karista's Kitchen Salmon Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood

    Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc over Salmon

    Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc over Salmon // Karista's Kitchen

    Today, I’m talking sauce! Ask anyone who has known me for a while and they will tell you I love to make sauce.  Sauce seems to elevate a meal and make it feel special.  It adds another layer of flavor and texture that engages the taste buds and keeps the recipe entertaining bite after bite.

    A sauce can be as simple or as complex as you like.   It can be intense with flavor or subtly infused.  Sauce is all about dressing up a dish and making it shine.

    Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc over Salmon // Karista's Kitchen

    Beurre Blanc is a classic French butter-based sauce. Translated it literally means “white butter”.  It’s considered an emulsion sauce and requires the butter to be chilled before using in order to keep the sauce from breaking. Now that I’ve mentioned this, don’t let the possibility of the sauce “breaking” deter you.

    Cooking (and sauce making) requires prep, patience and practice.  If you’ve never made this sauce before, just take your time.  I promise, before long you will be a sauce making pro.

    Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc  // Karista's Kitchen

    A basic Beurre Blanc requires white wine, white wine vinegar, shallots and cold butter. This Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc only requires Meyer lemon juice, shallots, cold butter and lemon zest. That’s it! A little salt to taste and your sauce is done.

    I prefer Meyer lemon versus conventional lemon in this sauce.  Meyer lemons have a sweeter flavor and are less acidic than regular lemons which creates a subtle and balanced citrus flavor in the sauce. For additional lemon flavor I add a teaspoon of lemon zest to the finished sauce.

    I’ve paired this sauce with pan seared salmon.  I think these two were made for each other.  The creamy butter sauce laced with lemon combined with the unique flavor of the salmon makes for a  delicious and beautiful dish.  This sauce is also exquisite drizzled over pan seared or grilled scallops and I’ve also been known to ladle this silky sauce on grilled oysters.

    Truly a beautiful sauce that will make you fall in love with seafood all over again.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc over Salmon

    Makes about 1 1/2 cups

    Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc over Salmon

    Some chefs leave the shallots in the sauce which is also fine. This, I call the "rustic" version. It also adds a bit more texture to the sauce.

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
    • 1 medium shallot, finely diced (about a tablespoon)
    • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced (about a stick and a half)
    • 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
    • Salt to taste
    • Chopped fresh chive for garnish

    Instructions

  • In a nonreactive saute pan over medium low heat, add the lemon juice and shallots Simmer until half the liquid has been reduced; it will feel almost dry or what is referred to as "au sec".
  • Take the pan off the heat and whisk in several pieces of diced butter (about a 1/4 of the butter). When it's nicely incorporated whisk in a few more pieces butter (another 1/4 of the butter). The sauce should begin to feel smooth.
  • Place the pan back over medium low heat and whisk in the remaining butter until the sauce is smooth.
  • Take the sauce off the heat and gently stir in the lemon zest and season to taste with salt.
  • Strain the sauce into a container and ladle over pan seared, roasted or grilled salmon.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh chive or little tender sprigs of fresh thyme.
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    Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salmon Seafood

    Arugula Chimichurri over Roasted Salmon and a Virtual Baby Shower

    Salmon with Arugula Chimichurri // Karista's Kitchen

    I remember when my oldest daughter was about four years old and we were hanging out on the living room floor, reading books and talking about how someday she would have a baby brother or sister.

    As we were chatting, she turned her rosy cheeked, sweet blue eyed, blonde head to me and said “Mom, how did you know to pick me?”  I was a little surprised by the question and I asked “what do you mean?” She replied “you know, how did you know you wanted ME?”  The question caught me by surprise and as I tried to recover I said “Well… Dad and I saw all the baby angels playing in heaven and that’s when we spotted you. We instantly fell in love and knew we wanted you for our baby.”

    Everyday Maven's Baby Celebration

     

    Now, I know some of you might think that’s one tall tale to tell a four year old, but honestly, that is what I came up with.  My heart was so warmed by the question, I wanted my answer to reflect how much we wanted her and how much we cherished our little sassy blonde girl.

    Salmon with Arugula Chimichurri

    She clung to those words for years to come and when our second daughter arrived, my sassy little gal said to her Dad, “I guess this is the one you picked?”

    As you know, I have two sassy gals now and they are the food for my soul.  Motherhood and parenting have been a wild ride and I wouldn’t trade a minute.

    My Two Sassy Gals on Mother's Day 2014

    My Two Sassy Gals on Mother’s Day 2014

    I’m truly honored to have been asked to participate in my sweet friend’s virtual baby shower.  Alyssa, of Everyday Maven, her handsome husband and their adorable little boy will soon know the joy of welcoming a new baby boy to their family.

    Several years ago, I met Alyssa at a blog conference in Seattle – while noshing on the most divine appetizers.  I liked her immediately.  A breath of fresh air, exuding a warm and genuine personality, Alyssa is a most beautiful and lovely lady.

    I’m happy to say, we’ve been friends ever since.

    Alyssa writes the delicious food blog Everyday Maven and has published two fantastic e-Books.  Her recipes are drool worthy and written with good health and nutrition in mind. I think one of my favorite Everyday Maven recipes has to be the Cabbage Rolls.  And of course her guest post for my blog, Karista’s Kitchen,  gluten free Banana Chip Cookies.

    Today, several other bloggers and myself are hosting a virtual baby shower for Alyssa.  A plethora of delicious recipes to celebrate but also recipes to prepare during the first few months after the new baby’s arrival.  Recipes to comfort and nourish with ease of preparation for a quick meal or leisurely weekend.  Although as we know, there is nothing “leisurely” about a new baby in the house; just lots of love and smiles and hopefully, soon to be restful nights.

    Congratulations Alyssa and family!

    Here is a list of Alyssa’s Virtual Baby Shower Recipes, lovingly prepared by some fabulous food bloggers!

    Breakfast 

    Fried Egg Topped Curried Sweet Potatoes from A Beautiful Bite

    Chocolate Orange Protein Smoothie from The Lemon Bowl

    Spaghetti Squash Hash from Eats Well With Others

    Lunch 

    Hearty Garbanzo Soup from Sweet Life Bake

    Pumpkin White Bean Soup from Blue Kale Road

    Dinner

    Slow Cooker Red Wine Pot Roast from Jeanette’s Healthy Living

    Slow Cooker Beef and Bacon Stew from Girlichef

    Lemon Pepper Chicken with Arugala from Virtually Homemade

    Roast Chicken Ratatouille from An Edible Mosaic

    Snack

    Spiced Honey Nut and Seed Snack Mix from Fake Food Free

    Charred Brussel Sprout, Bacon, and Toasted Sesame Guacamole from Baker by Nature

    Quick and Easy Cucumber Bites, Three Ways from Hip Foodie Mom

    Arugula Chimichurri over Roasted Salmon

    About 1 1/2 cups

    Arugula Chimichurri over Roasted Salmon

    Ingredients

    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 1 cup fresh baby arugula leaves, packed
    • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
    • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon of sugar
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
    • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

    Instructions

  • In a food processor or blender, add all the ingredients and blend until ingredients are pureed into a smooth sauce. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve over pan seared or grilled halibut and serve with wild rice pilaf, white rice and/or roasted veggies.
  • For a step by step pictorial on how to pan sear salmon, click here
  • Notes

    I love serving this Arugula Chimichurri with roasted salmon, but it's also fabulous with pan seared or grilled scallops and makes a tasty dipping sauce for grilled or poached shrimp.

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    Karista's Kitchen Salmon Seafood Tips and Techniques VRAI Magazine

    How To Pan Sear Fish with a Quick Pan Sauce

    How to pan sear salmon with a quick pan sauce

    One of the questions I hear most is “how do I pan sear fish and make a quick sauce?”.  Pan seared fish with a quick pan sauce is one of the easiest meals to make.  And, it can be on the table in less than 20 minutes.  There is a method to this quick dish, which is why I’ve created a pictorial with step by step instructions for my September food article at VRAI Magazine.

    If you’ve ever wanted to know how to achieve the perfect pan seared fish head on over to VRAI Magazine to snag this delicious pictorial.  And while you’re there, don’t forget to browse the collection of deliciousness created by our Co-Founder Kristin Hoffman of Baker Bettie, Lifestyle Editor, Sheri Silver as well as our enchanting food contributors.  VRAI Magazine Food is the perfect resource for your Fall and Holiday recipes.

    Coming soon to Karista’s Kitchen…  I’ll be posting a Peruvian Stir Fry called Lomo Saltado and an apple dessert you won’t want to miss!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

     

     

    Appetizers Beef Chicken Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salad Sassy Side dishes Seafood Soup

    Cinco de Mayo Recipe Round-up!

    8 Cinco de Mayo recipes from Karista's Kitchen

    There is nothing more delicious than a blog post filled with Mexican and South American inspired recipes.  The rich, bold and spicy flavors remind me summer is on the horizon and it makes this chef delirious with anticipation.  Outdoor grilling, fresh local summer produce, casual dining, flip flops or barefoot; it positively makes me giddy just thinking about it.

    Cinco de Mayo is Monday, May 5th and to celebrate,  I’ve got a fabulous line up of festive recipes.   So sit back, relax, fire up that grill, shake up a tasty cocktail and enjoy the deliciousness of the season.

     

    Spicy Cabbage Salad

    The Dreamiest Chocoflan

    Slow Braised Barbacoa with Cucumber Avocado Salsa

    Spicy Black Bean Soup with Lime Crema and Avocado

    Roasted Chicken Tacos with Spicy Avocado Crema

    Enchiladas Poblano with Spanish Rice Cakes

    Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

    Smoked Salmon Wonton Tacos

     

    Happy Cinco de Mayo!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

     

     

     

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salmon Seafood

    Salmon en Papillote

    Salmon en Papillote

    Hands down this is one of the simplest and freshest seafood recipes.  Requiring only a few fresh ingredients…  fresh salmon, fresh herbs, sliced shallots, garlic, lemon and anything else you’d like to throw in – wrap in parchment or foil and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Done!

    This recipe was always a favorite in my seafood cooking classes.  The ease of preparation led most of my students to believe this lovely little dish might lack flavor, due to the method of cooking.  Wow! Were they surprised.  One student remarked he couldn’t believe the fragrance that came from opening the packet – and the flavor was just as intense and enchanting.

    Salmon en Papillote before and after roasting

    Salmon en Papillote Before and After Roasting

    Layering flavor is key.  Beginning with one or two aromatics such as delicate shallots, sweet onions, garlic, thinly sliced leeks, spring onions or fennel and then topping with fresh herbs.  An entire handful if you like.  An assortment.  I adore chive and lemon thyme but rosemary also holds up well to the richness of salmon.  Whatever herbs you have on hand or fresh herbs that are growing in garden will be fantastic.  The last layer is citrus; lemon, lime, oranges, kumquats, and again, whatever you have on hand.  I adore the flavors of lemon and salmon together, so that’s what I’ve used in this recipe.

    However you layer the flavor in this dish it will be beautifully delicious.  A speedy and enticing weeknight meal, but also a lovely meal to serve for dinner guests. Prep the packets in advance and then all you need to do is pop them in the oven or on the grill and dinner is served.

    I like serving this dish during the spring and summer months with my Arugula and White Bean Salad, a traditional Caesar salad or grilled veggies.  And of course, I always pair this with my favorite white wine, DaVinci Pinot Grigio.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Salmon en Papillote

    If I’m using the grill as my cooking method I always prepare this in foil packets.  If I’m using the oven, I use parchment.  Unless of course I’ve run out of parchment because a certain teenage girl didn’t tell me she used the last of the parchment for her chocolate chip cookies. 😉

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    4 salmon filets

    Kosher or sea salt

    Fresh cracked black pepper

    Grapeseed or Olive oil

    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

    1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots (or more if you love shallots)

    1 lemon zested and halved

    4 – 3 inch stalks fresh rosemary

    8-10 strands of fresh chive

    4 – 3 inch stalks of fresh oregano

    4 – 2-3 inch sprigs fresh thyme (I adore lemon thyme)

    4 pieces of foil or parchment, about 12×12 inch square or large enough to enclose a salmon fillet.  Click here to learn how to fold the parchment.

    Directions

    Pre-heat the oven to 375F.

    Place the foil squares on a flat surface or counter.  Place a salmon fillet in the middle of each square.

    Drizzle a little lemon juice over each fillet, and then drizzle with a little oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    On each fillet, layer the shallots, garlic, lemon zest and then top with the fresh herbs.  Top each with a slice of lemon.

    Next, wrap the foil over the fish so it’s “tented” and seal the edges.  You want the salmon to steam inside the foil packet.

    Depending on thickness, roast the fish packets for about 8-10 minutes or until the salmon is done to your preference.

    When the fish is done, remove the fillets from the packets and transfer to plates.  Remove the herbs, leaving the shallots, lemon and garlic and pour any remaining juices from the foil over the fish.  Serve with lemon wedges and fresh chopped Italian parsley if desired.

    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Salmon Seafood

    Nori Wrapped Salmon

    Nori wrapped salmon with fresh herbs, dijon and wasabi

    Working as a chef translates into many things.  Personal clients, catering, recipe development, food photography, prep chef, sometimes dishwasher/kitchen cleaner and cheese specialist (yep did that too).  I’ve had (and still have) several unique positions being a chef and it’s been an absolute blast.  I have to say however, one of my most favorite positions has been that of culinary instructor.

    Over the last several years I taught culinary classes at one of our local culinary schools in Seattle.  I had the pleasure of meeting and working with the loveliest and most talented Chefs, Assistants and Nutritionists, as well as some amazing students.  One of the Nutritionists, Jennifer Adler, makes this exquisite and healthy recipe for her students and recommends it for her clients.  The ingredient list alone made my mouth water and I knew this bit of deliciousness had to make a regular rotation on my menu – for my family as well as my clients.

    Nori wrapped salmon with fresh herbs, Dijon, and wasabi

    Not only does this wrapped salmon make a lovely meal, I also prepare it in small bite size portions. These little bites make a simple and enticing starter for a brunch or evening dinner party.  Not only are they packed with flavor and good nutrition, they look like little pieces of art resting on a platter.

    So if you aim to please some taste buds but you want to keep things on the light side – or you want to impress your guests, this is a perfect savory recipe.  For even more taste-bud enchantment I like to pair my Nori Wrapped Salmon with pickled ginger, coconut rice and sautéed Asian greens.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Nori Wrapped Salmon

    Ingredients

    1lb salmon fillet, cut into 2-4 pieces (have your fishmonger remove the skin if you like)

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs. I use thyme, basil, chive, oregano or mint, Italian parsley, garlic, salt and pepper

    3 tablespoons quality Dijon mustard

    Pinch of wasabi

    4 sheets of Nori (usually found in the Asian food aisle in your local market)

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350F.

    Mix together the oil,  herbs, salt and pepper.  Rub the salmon with this mixture.

    Mix together the mustard and wasabi.  Spread this mixture onto a square of nori, large enough to wrap your fillet.  Place the salmon piece on the edge of the nori and wrap.  Like a little package. The nori will stick to itself and the fish.

    Place the wrapped fish in a slightly oiled baking dish or on a baking sheet.  Fish should cook for about 10 minutes to every inch of thickness.  However, with the nori wrap the cooking time could take a little longer.  I like my salmon under cooked just a bit so I usually stick to the 10 minutes per inch rule.

    Remove the fish from the oven and serve with pickled ginger and coconut rice if desired.  If you want to dress up the wrapped salmon, I like to tie it in a blade of chive and serve.   Enjoy!

    Recipe from Jennifer Adler, MS, CN

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salmon Seafood

    Wild Salmon with Caramelized Fennel and Roasted Potatoes

    wild salmon with caramelized fennel and roasted potatoes

    Wild Salmon with Caramelized Fennel and Roasted Potatoes

    Although my reality is not winning an Oscar or a Golden Globe, it feels that momentous.  I’ve been honored.  As some of you know, I’ve been awarded the Culinary Arts winner of the 2013 DaVinci Wine Storyteller’s Experience.

    Very soon, I’ll be traveling to Vinci, Italy, courtesy of DaVinci Wine – home to the historic Cantine Leonardo Da Vinci, where DaVinci Wines are produced.  I will have the opportunity to visit and experience the rich history of the region and experience the culture of generations of wine growers, local chefs and artists.

    DaVinci Wine Storyteller Experience

    Winner 2013 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Experience

    I’m thrilled to join three other winners on this extraordinary adventure, Kristina Havens, Leela Cyd and Jim O’Donnell.  They will also be writing about this experience from their professional perspectives, which should prove to be lovely beyond words and art.

    Follow along with me on my DaVinci Wine Storyteller Experience via DaVinci Wine Facebook Page and Karista’s Kitchen blog, Facebook page, PinterestInstagram and Twitter.  If  you happen to stop by the blog, check out the most recent social media activity on the Social Stream page.

    I bid you Bon Voyage with this enticing little feast.  Italian inspired, farm fresh, seasonal and somewhat effortless.  Ahh… I like that word.  Effortless  🙂

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Wild Salmon with Caramelized Fennel and Roasted Potatoes

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    For the fish:

    1 1/2 – 2lbs wild salmon (preferably fresh if you can find it) Or the traditional Italian recipe uses Red Mullet

    Salt and Pepper

    1-2 tablespoons Healthy oil of your choice or Ghee (clarified butter)

    For the remaining dish:

    1 – 2 medium fennel bulbs, ends trimmed (save the stalks for soups and stews) and 1/2 inch thick sliced.

    1 1/2lbs baby potatoes (I adore fingerlings for their creamy texture), cleaned and halved or quartered to create uniform size for roasting.

    Handful of capers, drained

    Handful of Italian parsley, chopped

    1/4 -1/2 cup white wine

    1-2 tablespoons Olive oil

    1-2 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter) or butter

    Salt and Pepper

    Directions

    Pre-heat the oven to 375F and toss the cubed or quartered potatoes with a few tablespoons olive oil and then dust with salt and pepper.  Place the potatoes on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet and roast until golden brown and soft.  About 10-15 minutes depending on size.

    While the potatoes are roasting heat a tablespoon or two of ghee (clarified butter) in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.  When the butter is melted and frothy, add the sliced fennel and toss in the butter.  Turn the heat to medium and allow the fennel to cook and caramelize for about 10-15 minutes.  Continue tossing the fennel every few minutes or so.  Watch the temperature and adjust as necessary.

    Cut the salmon into 4-6 pieces. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and either place the salmon in a baking dish and roast in the oven at 375F or pan sear in a large skillet over medium high heat with a tablespoon or two of oil or ghee (clarified butter).  This dish is also delicious with grilled salmon.   Click here for pan sear techniques.

    When the fennel begins to brown, take the pan off the heat and add the wine.  Place the pan back on the heat and let the wine reduce until almost completely dissipated, stirring just a bit.  Then add the capers, Italian parsley, roasted potatoes and a drizzle of oil or ghee if needed.  Combine and then remove from the heat.  Taste for salt and pepper.

    Place a portion of fennel and potatoes on four plates and then top with the wild salmon.  Garnish with Italian parsley and a squeeze of lemon.   Serve with DaVinci Pinot Grigio.

    Buon Appetito!

    This recipe is adapted from a Traditional Italian Red Mullet and Fennel dish.

     

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salmon Seafood

    Sugar-Crusted Salmon with Avocado Peach Salsa… a Guest Post by Alaska From Scratch

    IMG_7213

    It’s amazing how new friendships are born.  I’ve been following Maya at Alaska From Scratch for a while now and after a few blog comments and email correspondence she has become a cherished colleague and dear friend.  Her delicious food blog captured my attention, but Maya’s writing, her sweet, kind spirit and love of family and friends brings me back almost daily.  It’s an honor and pleasure to have Maya of Alaska from Scratch Guest Posting on Karista’s Kitchen today.  You are in for a treat!

    ————————————————————————————————————

    Hugs from Alaska to all of my new friends here at Karista’s Kitchen. Of course, an extra big squeeze to my special blogging buddy, Karista, for inviting me to guest post here today. She is a real gem, bursting with talent and grace, and I am blessed to know her and to get to count her as both a colleague and a friend.

    July in Alaska means seemingly endless amounts of daylight, lush green scenery, sparkling blue waters, and fishing. Gobs of fishing. There is nothing more seasonal in Alaska in July than a wild-caught salmon directly from our local shores. We have a dear friend living with us for the summer while he fishes commercially in Cook Inlet. One evening, after 13 hours out on the water, our friend came home with a marvelous king salmon. Although it was late, it was still light out, and he and my husband (known affectionately on my blog as Pastor Alaska) made quick work of filleting while I pulled up a recipe. It wasn’t long before the fish was sizzling in a hot pan, filling the house with the aroma of spices and saltwater mingling together.

    Ocean to table. There is truly nothing better.

    Salmon CollageThat night, we made this flavorful Sugar-Crusted Salmon recipe. Together, we oohed and ahhed over the smokiness of the paprika and the cumin, the kick of the chili powder and dry mustard, the nice sweetness from the sugar and a surprising pinch of cinnamon. And can we just talk about that beautiful charred crust for a moment… the stunning caramelization you get when a hot pan swirled with olive oil meets a perfectly fresh fillet of salmon, patted dry (this is key), and rubbed generously. “I have to blog about this,” I said aloud between bites, squeezing a wedge of lime over my fillet before diving back in, “We have to make this again.” Two nights later, we indeed made it again, and this time I made a bright, summery avocado peach salsa to go with it.

    Sugar-Crusted Salmon with Avocado Peach Salsa

    Serves 4

    For the Salsa: 2 sweet, but firm peaches (I used yellow saturn peaches), pitted and finely chopped 2 ripe avocados, finely chopped 1 small red or orange bell pepper, finely chopped 1/2 cup red onion, diced 1-2 jalapeños (to taste), seeds removed and minced 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped 1 lime, juiced salt and pepper, to taste

    For the Salmon: 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard pinch of cinnamon 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 4-6 wild-caught salmon fillets (about 4-6 ounces each), pin bones and skin removed 2 tablespoons neutral olive oil

    Directions In a bowl, gently stir together the peaches, avocados, bell peppers, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    In a smaller bowl, stir together the sugar, chili powder, paprika, cumin, mustard, cinnamon, pepper, and salt.

    Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the salmon fillets dry and liberally season the top of each fillet with the rub, patting it so it will adhere. Place the fillets seasoned side down into the hot pan. Cook about two minutes, until rub is fragrant and caramelized, but not burnt. Flip each fillet and continue to cook on the other side 2-6 minutes more, being careful not to overcook (cooking time will depend on the thickness of your fillets and your preferred doneness. I like my wild salmon fillets medium in the center, so mine were ready after 4 minutes). Plate the salmon and top with Avocado Peach Salsa.

    Sugar-Crusted Salmon recipe adapted from Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute via Chena Girl Cooks.

    Grilling Salmon Sauces, Salsas and More

    Roasted Mini Pepper and Fresh Basil Relish over Grilled Salmon

    Roasted Mini Pepper and Fresh Basil Relish

    My youngest gal told me this morning that I talk about food all the time. Really?

    Fresh Mini Peppers

    This, after my subtle launch into why we don’t consume sugary chocolate cupcakes on an empty morning tummy.  (can you see her eyes rolling?) I know, I know, once in a while we just have to have a sweet for breakfast.  I promise, I’m not a complete food ogre.

    I am a bit obsessed with good food however, and totally in love with mini peppers.  I could eat them by the bucket full.   We picked up these divine little peppers at the Port Townsend Farmer’s Market.  And of course I had to snap a few pictures to share.

    Port Townsend, WA looking at Admirality Inlet

    Me… at the beautiful marina in Port Townsend

    I’m enamored with the Bald Eagle

    The perfect evening in Port Townsend

    Flying Home

    These little peppers are perfect for salads, snacking or stuffed as an appetizer.  But I like them best roasted.

    After roasting the first batch, I think I ate half the peppers off the baking sheet.  Well, I know I did.  Because I had to run to my local market for more peppers.

    After roasting the second batch of mini peppers I only snacked on two (so yummy right out of the oven!) and the rest went straight into the relish.

    Then Ranger Craig came into the kitchen while I was grilling the salmon and “sampled” the relish.  Several times.  I started to wonder if we’d have any relish left for the salmon!

    I was not going back to the market a third time.  I’ve done that.  It’s so embarrassing.

    We ended up with just enough relish to serve with two pieces of salmon (we should have had enough for four pieces).  It was delicious.

    Roasted Mini Pepper and Fresh Basil Relish with Grilled Salmon

    Perfectly roasted and sweet with a hint of fresh basil and subtle tang of balsamic vinegar.  It’s going to be a tasty summer!

    Roasted Mini Pepper and Fresh Basil Relish

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    16 oz Mini Sweet Peppers

    1 heaping tablespoon chopped or chiffonade fresh basil, plus extra for garnish

    Dash of olive oil

    Dash of good quality balsamic vinegar

    Salt and Pepper to taste

    Directions

    To Roast the Peppers

    Preheat the oven to 400F.

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Brush the foil or parchment with a little oil so the peppers won’t stick.

    Place the peppers on the baking sheet, pop them in the oven and let them roast.  This should take about 15-20 minutes depending on how crisp tender or tender you like them.  I personally like my peppers very soft and toasty.

    Once the peppers are done let them cool for a few minutes.

    Pull the stem from each pepper and dice.  No need to skin or seed the peppers as we’re using the whole pepper for this relish.

    Once the peppers are diced, add the fresh basil, dash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.  Gently toss and taste for seasoning.

    Serve with grilled salmon or chicken.  Or toss with fresh greens and feta cheese for a delightful summer salad!

    Salmon Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood

    Cilantro Salmon

    Cilantro Salmon

    Last week I told Ranger Craig I’m in need of a field trip.  For those of you who don’t know Ranger Craig, he’s my main man, best bud, adventure partner, resident food critic and husband.  I had a reader ask me once if he was my boyfriend. (Hee hee, that gave me a good chuckle!)  So I went back to my about page and made it clear he’s legally mine. 🙂

    Ranger Craig... with Charley, our Cessna 182

    Ranger Craig is not a Forest Ranger. Although he’d love to be one.  He served in the US Army as an Army Airborne Ranger.  So, I call him Ranger Craig.  And he’s fearless. Which is why I don’t usually let him plan our little field trips lest we end up jumping out of an airplane and that’s where I draw the line.  I don’t mind flying in the airplane, I just don’t want to jump out of it.

    I should have known his inclination for adventure years ago when our first date was a long hike up our local lone Mountain.  Ranger Craig came prepared. Hiking shorts, hiking shoes, appropriate hiking shirt, water canteen, one of those handy tool knifes just in case of an emergency, and would you believe he even had a few Band-Aids in his backpack.

    Me? Adorable pink shorts, bright pink and white matching off the shoulder shirt (it was the 80’s), and gold sparkle sandals with hot pink painted toes. I looked great.  For about 10 minutes.

    Fast forward twenty-five years and I’ve got my own water bottle, travel medical kit, sensible shoes and an appropriate outfit for every adventure occasion. Lucky for me, this field trip didn’t even require sensible shoes.  I could look cute and wear my favorite cowgirl boots.

    My favorite boots from El Paso, Texas

    The Glass Art Museum was breathtaking. Art beyond my imagination. I couldn’t wait to photograph every piece.  Until, to my huge disappointment, I spotted the “No Photography” sign.

    Glass Art by Chihuly

    I did manage a few snaps of the Chihuly Art display. Breathtaking.  So full of vibrant color it inspired my desire for a vibrantly colorful dinner.

    And what better way to celebrate color, than with one of my favorite colors, green.  Fresh Pan Seared Salmon with bright spring green Cilantro Pesto.  It’s a plate licking good sauce that goes with anything.  Just like my favorite cowgirl boots.

    Cilantro Salmon

    Serves 4

    For the Pesto:

    1 large bunch cilantro, lower thicker stems trimmed (upper stems are fine in pureed pesto’s or sauces)

    ½ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

    ¼ cup toasted pine nuts (or substitute with walnuts)

    1-2 cloves garlic

    1 lemon juiced

    ¼ cup grated parmesan

    Pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper

    Salt to taste

    Directions

    Place the cilantro, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice and parmesan in a blender or food processor.  As you pulse/puree the ingredients add the olive oil until the pesto is smooth.

    Season to taste with salt and red pepper flakes.

    For The Salmon:

    1 ½ – 2 lbs fresh wild salmon cut into 4 pieces

    1-2 tablespoon high heat oil ( I love using Spectrum’s Asian flavored oil for pan searing salmon)

    Salt and pepper

    Lemon slices and fresh chopped cilantro for garnish

    Directions

    Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and add the oil.  Season the salmon with salt and pepper.

    When the oil is hot add the salmon flesh side down. Let the salmon cook for about 3 minutes or until the salmon easily lifts off the pan.  It should be a lovely golden brown.

    Flip the salmon skin side down and continue cooking until just pink inside, about another 3-4 minutes depending on thickness.

    If the salmon is thick, turn the heat down to medium and cover with a lid and let the salmon finish cooking.  The salmon should lift off the pan easily, leaving the skin in the skillet.

    Drizzle the pesto on a platter or plates and lay the skinless salmon filets on top and garnish with additional chopped fresh cilantro and lemon slice.

    This pesto is fantastic on grilled salmon and grilled chicken too! Enjoy 🙂

    Appetizers Grilling Salmon Sassy Side dishes Seafood vegetarian

    Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Salsa with Fresh Basil

    I’ve got a big yellow bowl sitting on my kitchen counter.  I love that bowl.  It looks like sunshine.  And it’s overflowing with all my beautifully delicious fruits and veggies.   I also love my big yellow bowl because one of my dear friends gave it to me for my birthday, and because it’s so big it holds my prized summer produce.
    And right now my prized summer produce are avocados, tomatoes and cucumbers.  During the spring and summer I find myself consuming major amounts of these lovely pieces of yumminess.  It seems the tasty trio can always be found on my plate.  I should be various shades of green and red by now.

    Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Salsa with Fresh Basil over Grilled Alaskan Salmon

    I got a little excited last week and purchased a few too many avocados and tomatoes.  Yes, I was grocery shopping while hungry.  Not a good idea.  By the time I reached the checkout counter my grocery cart was overflowing.  I’d definitely need to come up with some nifty new recipes for my embarrassingly large purchase.  I think I need to add the word “restraint” to my vocabulary.

    Home with my unrestrained purchase, I whipped up this quick little salsa to top our dinner of grilled Alaskan salmon.  My nifty new salsa almost didn’t make it to dinner.  The Bennett crew kept sweeping though the kitchen, subtly scooping little bites of the salsa with blue corn chips.

    It’s another two for one recipe!  Serve the salsa as a starter or a dinner.  Or in the case of the Bennett crew, it was a starter dinner.

    Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Salsa with Fresh Basil

    Ingredients

    2 Avocados, diced

    2 Fresh Summer tomatoes, seeded and diced

    1/2 cup fresh diced cucumbers

    1/4 cup fresh chopped basil

    Squeeze of lemon

    Drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil

    Salt and Pepper to taste

    Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

    Directions

    Toss together the avocado, tomato, cucumber and basil.  Drizzle with fresh lemon and olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding a pinch of red pepper flakes if desired.

    Options:  Instead of fresh chopped basil, substitute with fresh oregano and Italian parsley, or add in a little fresh mint.  Fresh chopped cilantro is also a fabulous compliment to this salsa.

    Serve over grilled chicken or fish.  Or serve as an appetizer with a basket of blue corn chips.