Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Salmon and Salad ~

Now that we are sweltering in the summer heat cooking inside the house is just not a real option on a hot evening, so I've reclaimed my BBQ and loving it all over again. I could really spend every day of the year (granted, I'd be cooking 6 mos. of the it in snow boots) outside on my patio, BBQ-ing and enjoying my yard. I love eating outside - there's something so free and spontaneous about setting the patio table for dinner, placing some fresh-cut flowers on the table and snipping off fresh basil from my little garden to garnish any dish. I'm just an outdoor gal - that's all there is to it.

I'm also a big fan of Sunset Magazine and I've noticed more recently that many of their wonderful recipes are gluten-free, or can easily be adapted to be gluten-free. So when I invited my lovely mother over for dinner last week, I decided to try out a new salmon recipe from Sunset. It's mix of hot and cool just called out to me and it seemed so healthy and fresh...oh, it was. It was pretty simple to prepare and very low-fat and packed with great Omega 3's and protein.

As I was preparing this meal with my mom I declared..."okay, I want to win the lotto and go to cooking school and spend my days creating amazing food in my kitchen"...I'll keep dreaming big...and it would help if I actually purchased a lotto ticket. In the meantime, there are a thousand recipes I would like to try. Speaking of - I subscribe to a blog called, GOOP.
It's the brain-child of super-star mom, cook, soon-to-be cookbook author, Gwyneth Paltrow. Her latest post was filled with amazing cookbook suggestions for summer reading. I was so excited that I filled up my Amazon shopping cart...I have yet to hit the "purchase" button, however. Take a look at her suggestions - some real winners. I'm definitely purchasing the "Urban Pantry"...the cover itself is just so appealing to me.

Grilled salmon with cucumber salad ~ (Gluten-free)
Serves 4/35 minutes

- 1 Cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I used non-fat plain Siggi's Skyr)
- 1 Tbsp. each chopped from dill and extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tsp. lemon juice
- About 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/8 Tsp. pepper

Cucumber salad:
- 1/2 lb. Persian or English cucumbers (2 large)
- 2 Tsp. each chopped chives and flat-leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 Tsp. minced shallot
- 2 Tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 Tsp. lemon juice
- 1/8 Tsp. each kosher salt and pepper

Salmon and serving:
- 4 sockeye salmon fillets (each 5 - 6 oz., 1/2 to 1 in. thick), with skin
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 Tsp. each salt and pepper
- Fresh dill sprigs

Make sauce:
Combine yogurt, dill, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl
Cover and chill until used.

Heat grill to medium-high (about 450)

Make salad:
Cut cucumbers lengthwise into paper-thin strips, preferably with a mandoline (I used a knife). Put in a bowl with herbs and shallot; chill until used. In another bowl, mix oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; set aside dressing.

Prepare salmon:
Rub all over with oil and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Fold a 12 x 20 sheet of heavy foil in half, crosswise. With knife tip, pike dime-size holes through foil about 2 in. apart. Oil one side of foil.

Set foil with oiled side up on cooking grate (BBQ). Set fillets slightly separated, skin side down, on foil. Grill, covered, until fish is cooked through, or to desired liking. Carefully remove skin with spatula and discard.

Discard any liquid from cucumber mixture in bowl, then quickly toss mixture (yogurt) with dressing and immediately mound on fish. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs. Serve.

Fresh Salad with egg:

In getting back to my Euro-roots, I whipped up a yummy salad that I ate last summer in Geneva - mmmmmm The photo is missing the "egg on top" shot but try to envision.

I really enjoyed the mix of textures, fresh veggies, topped with two pan-fried eggs, then drizzled with your favorite balsamic. So light and fresh and yes...French.

Simply mix your favorite lettuce in a bowl, chop a perfectly ripe Heirloom tomato into quarters, toss in feta cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

In a small frying pan, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, then fry two organic eggs. When they are cooked to your liking, slide them on top of the salad. They will lightly melt the feta. Then drizzle balsamic on top - Delicious - I promise.

Enjoy life - food, wine, family and friends...

they fill up our tummies and our souls!

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