Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Walnut And Mint-Crusted Pan Seared Salmon Over An Arugula-Mint Salad With A Blood Orange Vinaigrette.


Walnut And Mint-Crusted Pan Seared Salmon (3)

Walnut And Mint-Crusted Pan Seared Salmon (4)

Walnut And Mint-Crusted Pan Seared Salmon (2)

I wanted to challenge myself to making dishes using all of my herbs from my gardens. My first was the “Mint Challenge”. I made a trip to the Farmers’ Market to get some inspiration for my dish using mint. I found a beautiful display of blood oranges. I knew that I had to bring a few of those home.

Mint

Blood Oranges

Blood Orange

Blood oranges originated in Sicily and Spain. They are grown in Calabria. Their juice resembles that of a ruby. Blood oranges are truly one of natures natural wonders. There are three components to this dish, the marinate, the salmon, and the salad dressing.  All three of these will include fresh mint.  What’s really great about this dish is everything can be prepared in advance. All then you’d have to do is cook off the salmon and serve.

I’m starting with the marinate.

Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Tip: Prepare the salad, dressing, and salmon topping while the salmon is marinating.

Ingredients For Marinate:
1 quart size zip lock plastic bag
1 grated garlic clove
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 blood orange juiced ( substitute regular orange is fine)
2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon Agave nectar
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoon of minced mint leaves
1/4 cup of olive oil

Directions:
Place all the ingredients above into a quart size baggie. Place the 2-6 ounce center cut fillets into the bag. Remove all the air. Massage the salmon so both side of the fish are coated. Place the baggie onto a plate and place into the frig for 1 hour.

Walnut and Mint Topping For Salmon:
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
zest of 1 Blood orange ( substitute regular orange is fine)
2 tablespoons of minced mint leaves

Directions:
Place all the above ingredients, for the topping, into a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.

Ingredients For Salad And Dressing:
4 cups of Arugula (2 cups per serving)
1/4 cup of roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 red onion thinly sliced ( in half moons)
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
2 segmented Blood oranges
1/4 cup of thawed frozen peas

Ingredients For Blood Orange Dressing:
1 jelly jar to store dressing
Juice of 1 Blood orange ( regular orange is fine)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons Agave nectar
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup E.V.O.O.

Directions For Salad:
On two serving plates, (seen in pictures above) place 2 cups of arugula leaves on each plate. Divide onion slices evenly and distribute them over the arugula. Same with the peas, dried cranberries, chopped mint, and orange segments.  Place the two prepared salads in the frig until your ready to plate the salmon.

In a measuring cup place all the ingredients above into a measuring cup. Add the extra virgin olive oil last. Whisk together really well. Transfer to a jelly jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well before using.

Directions For Salmon:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Set the saute pan to medium heat. Let the pan come up to temperature. Take the salmon out of the baggie. Shake off all excess marinate. Place the salmon fillets into the hot saute pan. Sear the salmon for about 2 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for another 6-8 minutes. Place the hot salmon fillet onto the chilled salad. Carefully spoon the walnut and mint topping onto the top of the salmon fillet. Shake the dressing jar really well and spoon the Blood orange dressing over the salmon and salad. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

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Lobster Mac And Cheese


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I’m pretty confident in saying, Mac and Cheese is a favorite comfort food for people of all ages. There are so many recipes out there from the classic version to endless variations of the classic. Chorizo and smoked Gouda, or how about butternut squash mac and cheese! The one I like to serve, when having guests over, is my Lobster Mac And Cheese. The lobster adds the elegant factor, complimented by the variety of cheeses that go into my recipe. Let me show you how I make my Lobster Mac And Cheese.

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Equipment:
16 quart stock pot, 9 x 13 casserole dish
yields: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:
4 cups of lobster meat, large dice (approx. 3  1-1/2 lb lobsters)
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
4 cups of whole milk
1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup of corn
1 cup of Mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup of Brie cheese, without the rind
2 cups of shredded Fontina cheese ( reserve 1 cup for the top)
3 tablespoon of freshly finely chopped chives
3 tablespoons of freshly chopped tarragon
2-16 ounce packages of cooked just under al-dente Paccheri Rigati ( large rigatoni shaped pasta)
Topping:
4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups of Panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
3/4 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions:
Butter casserole dish.
For 1-1/2 pound lobsters, cook time is 15-20 minutes. Note: They need to be a vibrant red color when fully cooked.

To cook lobsters, bring a 16 quart pot ( a little of half filled with water) of well salted water up to a rapid  boil. Drop the lobster into the pot, carefully, and place the lid on. Once water comes back up to a boil, start the cooking time. Once cooked ( after a least 15 minutes), remove the lobsters from the pot and set aside to cool.

Boil 16 ounces of pasta just before the al dente stage, and drain. the pasta will finish cooking during the baking process.

Remove the lobster meat from the tail and claws. Chop the lobster meat into large chunks and place into a bowl.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Next, to make the cheese sauce, melt the butter whisk in the flour in a large saucepan. Cook for 1 minute over medium, heat. Slowly add in the whole milk. Sprinkle in the Kosher salt, and black pepper, continuously whisking until sauce becomes thickened and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped tarragon,  finely chopped chives, cheeses, and corn. Last, add in the cooked lobster meat. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.

Add the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce stirring gently not to break up the pasta. Pour the entire mixture into the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle the reserved Fontina cheese evenly over the top.

For the crumb topping, add the melted butter to the Panko bread crumbs. Mix in  the Italian flat leaf parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

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Baked Cod With A Tomatoes, Fennel, And Capers


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This delicious and healthy dish is a favorite in my house. Cod is a light white flaky fish that absorbs whatever flavors you may add.

2016-06-09 17.05.52

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Temp: 375 degrees F.
Cook time: 15-18  minutes

Ingredients:
4-6 ounce cod fillets
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
2 pints of halved yellow and red grape tomatoes
1 diced fennel bulb
1 medium diced onion
1 seeded and minced Fresno chiili
3 sliced garlic cloves
1/4 cup of drained capers
1 tablespoon of Pernod
1/2 cup of white wine
1/2 cup of fresh chopped basil leaves
1-1/2 lemons ( 1 sliced and 1/2 juiced over the fish)
finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:
First, prep all the vegetables for the dish. Once prepped, add olive oil to saute pan on medium heat. Add all the veggies, minced Fresno chili, and minced garlic to the pan. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Saute everything for about 5-7 minutes. As the veggies start breaking down and soften, add in the white wine. Bring this up to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer the tomato and fennel mixture until wine has reduced and sauce starts to come together.This should take another 7-10 minutes. At this point, add in the drained capers. Keep the pan on the burner with the heat turned off.

In a 11 x 8 baking dish, add the Pernod to the bottom of the dish. Add in the sauteed tomatoes and fennel mixture. Sprinkle each of the 4 cod fillets with Kosher salt and pepper. Place the fillets on top of the of the tomato and fennel sauce. Spoon a little of the sauce over the top of each fillet.

In a preheated 375 degree oven, place the dish in the oven and bake for around 15-18 minutes or until the cod is tender and flaky.  Remove from the oven add squeeze fresh lemon juice over all the fish. Add sliced lemons. Sprinkle over the whole dish with chopped fresh basil leaves, and the Italian flat leaf parsley.

To serve, ladle the tomato, fennel, and caper sauce on the bottom of the dish. Using a spatula, transfer one of the fillets on top of the sauce, and spoon a generous amount of the sauce over the top of the baked cod. Garnish with a lemon slice.

 

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Shrimp Scampi Over Linguine


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Talk about a quick and fast cooking pasta dish, shrimp scampi over linguine is fast and easy to make. Now there is a little bit of prep time in preparing the shrimp, but it’s super easy. You can prep the shrimp in advance and keep them on ice, in the frig, until your ready to make the dish.

When you go to buy your shrimp, you’ll see numbers like 16-20 count. This just means there are about 16-20 in a pound. As you can see they’re a nice large shrimp for this dish.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt plus 2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of minced garlic (8 cloves)
1 Fresno chili seeded and finely minced
2 pounds of large shrimp ( about 32 shrimp) peeled and deveined
1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
1 lemon, zest grated
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 juicy lemons)
1 lemon thinly sliced in rounds

Directions:
Start by prepping the shrimp for the recipe. Once shrimp are ready, place a large pot on the stove filled with water. When the water is at a fast boil, add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt in. Next add in the linguine and cook for about 7-10 minutes.

In a large saute pan melt butter and olive oil over med low heat. Add the garlic and Fresno chili for about a minute. Note: You want to be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the shrimp to the pan, with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.. Saute until shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes or so, stirring regularly.

Remove the pan from the heat, add chopped parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon slices.

When linguine is done, drain the cooked pasta, place into a large serving bowl. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce over the pasta. Toss well and serve.

 

 

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