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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 at the Farmers’ market. I knew that I had to bring a few of home with me.

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:
2-6 ounce center cut salmon fillets, skin removed
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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Burrata And Prosciutto Bruschetta

 

The dish I’m making today is Burrata And Prosciutto Bruschetta. Let me give you a little background on Burrata cheese first. Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside is filled with both mozzarella and cream. This gives this cheese a unique and soft texture. The mozzarella is formed into a pouch and filled with soft, stringy curd and cream. Inside each container, there are 2 mozzarella balls. This dish I’m showing you today only uses half of the mozzarella ball.

Until recently, I haven’t been to a restaurant that’s offered a dish using Burrata. I definitely wanted to recreate this dish but the biggest hurdle is being able to find this cheese. I was totally surprised to find Burrata was available at my local grocery store. Tucked away right next to the fresh mozzarella. How I missed these gems I’ll never know.

This recipe is easy to make, using a few really good ingredients. Keeping it simple is what Italian recipes do best.

Yields: 2 servings, 5 crostini per plate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 12-15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Equipment: one baking sheet with a rack.

Ingredients:
1 loaf of good baguette bread, 10 toasted baguette slices, 5 per plate
1/4 cup of good olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (for bread)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper ( for bread)
1/4 cup of baby arugula leaves
2 slices of Prosciutto cut into thirds
5 mini San Marzano or grape tomatoes halved
5 tablespoons of Burrata cheese
Kosher salt- to taste
Black pepper freshly cracked- to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Slice the baguette bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top surface of each slice of baguette lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the bread is golden. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the toast cool slightly before adding the toppings.

Slice in half eight mini San Marzano tomatoes. In a sauté pan, on medium-low heat, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and the halved grape San Marzano tomatoes. Add a light sprinkling of Kosher salt and black pepper too. Toss the tomatoes around in the pan for about 2-3 minutes, just giving them enough time to softened and start to burst, then remove from the heat. Take 2 slices of Prosciutto and cut into thirds, to fit onto the toasted baguette slices.

At this point, the bread should be coming out of the oven. It’s really all about the timing. Setting the bread into the preheated oven, then sautéing the tomatoes, and slicing the prosciutto.  This allows you to complete a few easy tasks at the same time.

Once the bread and tomatoes are ready, it’s just a matter of plating the bruschetta. Take a round plate and lay 5 of the crostini in the shape of a star. Place a few baby arugula leaves on each piece of toast along with one prosciutto piece on top. Next, for the Burrata. Cut open the cheese very carefully and place a tablespoon of Burrata on top of the prosciutto. Top the cheese with two tomato halves, and finish with another light sprinkling of Kosher salt and black pepper.

There you have it! A beautiful small bite loaded with flavor, and the plates look appealing too.

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Sweet Potato Burgers

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It’s become so much easier to get Steve to have a meat-free night once a week. I’ve been really expanding my recipes to exclude meat and even gluten. This dish hits on both those marks. My Sweet Potato Burgers are so flavorful and satisfying, the fact is, you won’t miss the meat. Topped with avocado slices, wrapped in a whole grain gluten-free flatbread or just using bib lettuce as your vessel, makes no difference. My Sweet Potato Burgers are delicious.

I wanted to use a flatbread as a vessel for these burgers. I wasn’t able to find this particular hinged-brand in a gluten-free variety but they do offer gluten-free flatbreads. I’d previously bought a package of these hinged flatbreads to try because they’re great for burgers and sandwiches.

I used one of the hinged flat-breads as a pattern to follow, making the regular whole grain flatbreads into a hinged-style flatbread. I used a piece of parchment paper to trace the outline of the hinged-flatbread. I laid it over the gluten-free flatbread, and cut it out using a paring knife. Now I have a slice of gluten-free hinged bread. In time they may offer this type of bread in a gluten-free variety. You could use a leaf of Bibb (Boston) lettuce as a vessel too!

These are some of the ingredients I’m using to make these delicious Sweet Potato Burgers. First, I think the best way to incorporate sweetness, and to keep these burgers moist, not dry,  is to add a little apple sauce. When I go to the market, I’m looking for something completely natural. I decided to use a jar of baby’s puréed first apples as one of the ingredients. What’s more natural than that!  Okay, so here’s how I start.

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hr 45 minutes
Equipment: 12-inch non-stick sauté pan, parchment paper, paring knife, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
Pesto Mayo Sauce
1/2 cup of good mayo
2 heaping tablespoons of fresh basil pesto

Avocado Slices
2 avocados, sliced
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients For Sweet Potato Burgers:
6 gluten-free whole grain flatbreads (trace and cut into hinged flatbreads)
3 med-size sweet potatoes
2 15-ounce cans of drained and rinsed Cannellini beans
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup of organic baby apple purée
1/4 cup of flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 cup of baby Arugula
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 cup of gluten-free flour
2 cups of gluten-free bread crumbs (this amount may vary slightly)
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided

Basil Pesto Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup of good mayonnaise
2 heaping tablespoons of basil pesto (store-bought fresh basil pesto)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set the sweet cleaned and dried sweet potatoes on the baking sheet. Prick the potatoes with a fork to release steam, and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the sweet potatoes are baking prepare the gluten-free hinged flatbreads using the store-bought hinged flatbread as a pattern to follow. Prepare a total of six.

For the basil mayonnaise, take a 1/2 a cup of good mayonnaise and add 2 heaping tablespoons of basil pesto, stir to combine. Refrigerate until needed.

Note: Take advantage of fresh store-bought basil pesto in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the sweet potatoes together with the Cannellini beans. It’s fine if the beans are not fully mashed into the potatoes. This gives the burgers great texture.

Add a beaten egg, apple purée, chili powder, ground coriander, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, gluten-free flour, gluten-free bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Mix together until fully combined. You want the sweet potato mixture to be similar to the consistency of ground meat.

Note: Just like if you were making crab cakes, place the sweet potato mixture into the frig, for 30 minutes, to firm up before making the patties. Divide the sweet potato mixture into six equal portions and form into patties

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil together. Add the patties to the pan two at a time. Cook until golden brown and caramelized, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked patties to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Repeat the process until all 6 patties are cooked.

Note: Transfer the cooked patties to a plate and cover tightly with foil to keep warm while you finish cooking the remaining patties. You can also refrigerate the uncooked patties. Place them on a plate tightly wrapped in plastic wrap until you’re ready to cook them.

To Serve: Spread 1 tablespoon of the Basil Pesto Mayonnaise on one side or both sides of the hinged flatbread. Add a Sweet Potato Burger, a few baby arugula leaves, and top with slices of avocado. Finish by wrapping the Sweet Potatoes Burgers in parchment paper.

 

 

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