Garlic Honey Sockeye Salmon

garlic honey sockeye salmon

Sockeye Salmon is one of those wonderful things that — especially if you can get it fresh — makes all the difference between “ordinary” salmon (farmed with color added) and the real salmon, deep dark red and tender beyond delicious. But like most things with a really good fish, getting the sockeye salmon right means figuring out how to get the best of the salmon and add just a little added flavor, to set it off.

This garlic and honey salmon does just that. the flavors are perfect and there is no doubt that under the glazed coating on the outside, the salmon is perfect on the inside. The trick is to marinate the salmon for about an hour, then simply heat it gently in a pan until it’s done. The only thing to really worry about is how to avoid overcooking the fish, which means you can’t just let it cook and forget about it. You do have to watch it. Serve with a simple salad and you’re done.

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Salmon with Honey, Lime and Cilantro

Salmon with Honey, Lime and Cilantro

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a good salmon here, so I thought this might be a nice way to get back to what is one of my favorite ideas — something nice and fresh with just a very little work. And this Salmon with Honey, Lime and Cilantro is right on the money for that.

This piece is something I try very hard not to do — take someone else’s blog post (in this case, several)  — and essentially try to make it just a bit better. The truth, however, is that this one just hit my fancy and I knew pretty much what I wanted to do to increase the flavor without ruining the underlying taste. So I did, and the salmon turned out to be very good indeed.

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Jane Street Chicken

jane street chicken

Jane Street? Anybody have an idea? Well, I mean Jane Street food, of course. Still no idea? Yeah, I’m like that, too. In other words, here is a great, old traditional kind of recipe for something called Jane Street Chicken that is wonderful, and yet as far as I can figure out, I have no idea why it’s called that. Yes, there is a fairly well-known street in the West Village of New York, but as near as I can tell, it doesn’t seem to have either vast feasts or street food bearing upon it’s name. There are a few other similar streets that also don’t have food among their names, either. Hmmm.

OK. Got that off my chest. So on to Jane Street Chicken. It’s a dish that, if your looking to make chicken in a new way, is perfect. It has a lot of curry powder, honey, lemon, and Dijon mustard in it, which generally lights me up, but it also is rather even handed, in that none of it really stands out is any kind of particular way — the ingredients really just stick together. Don’t get me wrong, you can taste everything, but nothing really separates itself from the other ingredients.

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Honey Garlic Shrimp

Honey Garlic Shrimp

Sometimes it’s important to get a meal on the table quickly, but that doesn’t mean you have to resort to packaged food or takeout. Honey garlic shrimp is easy to make and if you buy the shrimp already peeled, you can get it on the table in half an hour or less. 

This recipe is really a mashup of several I found online and then experimented with, trying to simplify as much as possible. The only real trick to it is to use a heavy pan, like a cast iron skillet, that retains a lot of heat. It helps to caramelize the sauce and give the shrimp a rich golden color that’s looks as good as it tastes. Honey, garlic, ginger and soy are classic and a bit of vinegar gives it almost a sweet and sour kind of flavor profile. And if you’re in the mood for something with a kick, I can say from experience that a teaspoon or two if sriracha will take this over the top. 

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Honey Garlic Chicken

Honey Garlic Chicken

Everyone has one of those days when we need to get a meal on the table with as little fuss as possible — and in a hurry. Honey garlic chicken is one of my go-to dishes when I find myself in that predicament. The key is to have pre-portioned boneless, skinless chicken breasts (usually in the form of what the grocers call “tenders”) in the freezer. They can be thawed quickly in a pinch in the microwave or some warm water, or if you know you’re going to need them, overnight in the fridge.

If you have only full size chicken breasts, it’s best to put them between a couple of sheets of waxed paper and use a meat mallet to pound them to about a half-inch thickness. Otherwise they’re difficult to cook evenly.

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Honeyed Toasted Almond Soup

Toasted Almond Soup

We’ll start our Thanksgiving dinner by preparing the Honeyed Toasted Almond Soup, which can be made well-ahead and either refrigerated or frozen until the big day. I’m not certain this soup is French in the technical sense, but the first time I ever had a nut soup was at a diner somewhere on the road between Dijon and Beaune in Burgundy, so when I think about nut soups, I’m reminded of that experience.

This is a very elegant, flavorful soup that’s great on its own but really shines as a first course accompanied by a freshly made salad that has a bit of cheese and/or fruit in it. The added bonus is that toasting the almonds fills the house with an amazing aroma. This is a vegetarian soup as described below, but if you don’t have vegetable stock at hand, chicken stock can be substituted and also works well. And while I like to prepare my own veggie stock, you can purchase some very good high-quality organic prepared vegetable stock from a quality grocer.

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Honey-Lemon Chicken Breast

honey lemon chicken

Sometimes I really don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but still want to put something delicious and attractive on the table. Think beautiful summer day with reasonable temps and low humidity — something rare in the DC metro area — and you get the picture. Seriously, sitting on the deck enjoying the breeze and a nice glass of wine is far more pleasant than kitchen duty. Right?

Honey-Lemon chicken fits the bill. A little prep, pop it in the oven and take a timer (and the wine) with me to the deck and relax. I’ve been making this for years, starting back when the lovely Carol and I both worked demanding jobs and had to toss a coin when we got home to determine who would make dinner.

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