Monthly Archives: November 2014

Holiday Detox Salmon Burger

 

Thanksgiving this year was the most delicious one ever, which meant I totally overdid it. So yesterday and today have been full of Nutribullets and limited carbs. For lunch today, Brendan came home and we made Wild for Salmon’s feta-dill salmon burgers, topped them with thin slices of avocado and a simple lemony dill sauce, then wrapped them in lettuce for a super healthy, quick and delicious lunch. I’ve tried to copy these burgers before, but have to admit defeat when I taste it. Nothing comes close to these burgers stuffed with feta and dill

HOLIDAY DETOX BURGER (makes 2)
– 3 large iceberg lettuce leaves
– 2 Wild for Salmon’s feta-dill salmon burgers
Lemon-Dill sauce
– 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced

1. Lightly spray a grill pan with cooking spray. Heat to medium.

2. Cook the salmon burgers, approx. 2 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Try to get those “sweet grill marks”, if you’re Brendan. Why do guys love these so much??

 

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Salmon and Avocado Apps with Lemon, Dill and Sesame Seeds

Not gonna lie, I felt pretty pleased with myself making these. The saltiness/savoriness of the salmon combined with the creamy avocado is perfect, they have 4 ingredients, tops, are chock full of Omega-3s – the “good for you fats” – which help with your cardiovascular health, eyesight, joints and a whole bunch of other things, have a hint of the bright flavor of lemon (which adds detox benefits) and if you use Wild for Salmon’s Dill and Orange Gravlax, you can skip the dill altogether. I did a couple of these with a light coating of toasted sesame seeds, but that’s up to you. These were ready in no time, and gone in about that same amount too.

SALMON AND AVOCADO APPS WITH LEMON AND DILL (makes about 30)
– 3 avocados, cut into approx. 3/4 inch chunks
Wild for Salmon’s Dill and Orange Gravlax (or smoked salmon if you can’t find this, but please try because this is amazing.)
– juice of 1 lemon
– pinch of kosher salt
– sesame seeds (optional)

1. Cut the avocados into approx. 3/4 inch chunks. 



2. Add to a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and the pinch of salt – this will keep the avocado from browning.

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Salmon Appetizers with Cucumber, Dill, Red Onion and Creme Fraiche

These little guys are our go-to appetizers for almost every gathering, and they’re also the first things that disappear. They’re fantastic. For these appetizers, I’m psyched to be working with Wild for Salmon, a Pennsylvania company run by Steve, a thirty-something who went from Penn State to Idaho to Alaska, where he (luckily for us) learned how to catch this amazing wild salmon, and then decided to bring that skill, and those products, back to his home state. I’ve been a fan of Wild for Salmon for a couple years now, always buying it at Hillside Farms, but getting to see the business itself was awesome – it’s a family-run operation (I met Steve, his mom, his wife Jenn and their adorable daughter Ava Jane while I was there) and they really care about what they produce, and where it comes from. Steve and Jenn either go on regular fishing trips to Alaska for Wild for Salmon’s products, or they personally know the fisherman who catch it for them, which is really impressive. I used their Dill & Orange Gravlax for this recipe, which was perfect – there is no mistaking the difference between this and the usual farm-raised salmon that you buy at the grocery store. Get in touch with Wild for Salmon and treat yourself to the real deal. 

Thanksgiving is this week – bring these apps to wherever you’re going and watch them disappear in no time flat.

SALMON APPETIZERS WITH CUCUMBER, DILL, RED ONION AND CREME FRAICHE (makes about 40)
– Sturdy Potato Chips (Kettle is good, but you can always make these yourself – & please do, because they’re awesome, simple & way healthier for you than the ones you buy at a store)
– 1/2 English Cucumber, chopped 
– 1/2 Red Onion, minced
– Fresh Dill
– Creme Fraiche – we used this Lemon-Dill sauce and that was terrific, or you could always just use cream cheese

1. Get everything grouped into little stations for quick assembling.

2. Chop the cucumber and mince the red onion.


3. Get out Wild for Salmon’s gorgeous Dill & Orange Gravlax. 

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Lemon-Dill Sauce

This goes with just about any kind of fish, combines some of my favorite things (lemon, dill & greek yogurt) and is super, super simple to make. It’s tangy and bright and we just love it. This becomes a kind of creme fraiche, which is terrific since I can rarely find that around here!
 
LEMON-DILL SAUCE (makes a little more than a cup)
– 7.2 oz. plain greek yogurt (usually the amount in 1 container) 

– juice of 1 lemon
– fresh chopped dill, about 1 tsp.
– pinch of kosher salt

1. In a small bowl, combine the greek yogurt and the lemon. 

 

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White Beans and Kale with Parm, Nutmeg and Walnuts

Remember when you thought the only thing you could make with kale was some variation of a kale, sausage and bean soup? Oh, just me?  It’s true, but what a difference a couple years makes. I use kale all the time now, and it’s such a great base for sides, quiches, smoothies and – okay, soups. You could throw this together in about 15 minutes and it’s a perfect little snacky dish or a substantial side for whatever else you’re making for dinner. The nutmeg is perfect in this, adding a little sweetness, and the beans get kind of crunchy on the outside while still remaining soft and creamy on the inside. Serve this with some good bread or just on its own.
 
WHITE BEANS AND KALE WITH PARM, NUTMEG AND WALNUTS (serves 3-4 as a side)
– 1 can large beans – butter beans are really good for this
– 3 cups kale, stems removed, washed and chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– couple grinds of nutmeg
– 1/4 c. freshly grated parm
– 1/4 c. toasted chopped walnuts
– kosher salt & pepper, to taste
 
1. In a large pan, warm the EVOO over medium-low heat until shimmery. Add chopped garlic and stir for approx. 30 seconds, until fragrant.
 
2. Add the beans (drained and rinsed). Let these kind of sit on one side for a little bit before flipping to the other side. You want the outsides to get a little golden brown color.

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Destination Wedding

We just got back from Puerto Rico to celebrate my cousin EM & Kristina’s wedding. The wedding was one of the prettiest I’ve ever been to, the food at the resort was amazing, and it was so great being able to spend that kind of time with my cousins, our friends and family. Lots of cocktails and catch-up sessions, both of which are my favorites. I’m already looking forward to their stateside celebration at the end of this month at the Westmoreland Club, when we can all be together again!

Food was amazing – also, my standard 3-drink brunch order
Brothers <3
Villa loungin’

My mom is great at many, many, many things. Picture taking isn’t one of them. Outtakes of Collyn and me trying to get one good shot.
My cousin Erin, her husband Brian and their son Ethan
…Did I mention that the food was amazing?

Last cousin picture before EM became a husband!

Seriously, this reception. Unbelievable.

The bride and groom (one of my favorite couples, ever) – how gorgeous are they??

This space was so, so pretty. Look at those flowers!

Welcome to the family, Kristina!!!

Homemade Baked Potato Chips

Someone in my family loves potato chips so much that they’ve been known to eat an entire family-size bag in one sitting. Oh, hi Mom! These chips are baked, which means they’re good for you, right? Okay, maybe not “good for you”, but they’re actually way better for you than the typical deep-fried ones, plus they’re ready in 20 minutes and super crunchy and delicious. We housed these.

HOMEMADE BAKED POTATO CHIPS (makes about 40)
– 2 russet potatoes cleaned really well (skin still on)
– 2 tbsp. EVOO
– Kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. On a mandoline (be VERY careful – I swear one day I’m going to get over my fear of using these), slice these to 1/8 an inch. If you don’t have a mandoline, just try to cut these and thinly and uniformly as you can.

3. Rinse the potato slices in cold water, then pat dry really well – this is key to getting them to cook evenly.

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Here comes the Bride (and Groom)

We’re in Puerto Rico for my cousin E.M.’s wedding to the wonderful Kristina, who for the last five years has been, hands down, the best thing that’s ever happened to him. We love her. I’m so happy to be here with my whole family, celebrating their marriage, which would have made my grandparents very proud. E.M. and Kristina – here’s to a very long, healthy, happy life together. We love you guys!!!!!

Ps – more recipes when I’m back. In the meantime, enjoy the view.