New England Clam Chowdah

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Well here I am, once again, months and months since my last post. I know that I haven’t been the most diligent bloggess in the world, but I’ve been busy. I know, right, haven’t we all? But I moved. Again. Just a few short months ago my family and I packed up all of our belongings, pointed our car northeast, and drove 2,000 miles to Boston, in what would become our fifth home in seven years. Continue reading

Seafood & Sausage Paella

Well hello stranger, long time no see. As you may or may not have noticed, I took quite a lengthy hiatus from blogging (roughly a year-and-a-half-ish), and although I never stopped cooking and experimenting with food, I felt that I just needed a little break from writing. But I’m back! Well, at least for today. You see, last night I made an awesome paella dish, then I went and bragged about it on Facebook like an idiot, and as a result, I was asked to share the recipe. So…that’s what I’m doing.

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Tuna Casserole for Grownups

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Okay, this title may be a bit misleading. I don’t want to imply that this casserole is ‘R’ rated or anything, it’s just a little more sophisticated than the 4-ingredient medley that mom used to make growing up. Although now that I think about it, my mom never made casseroles when I was young, and somehow I feel like I was robbed of this very 70’s food trend. Anyhow, the first time I tried tuna casserole I was in my early (okay, mid)-thirties, and my husband and I had just started dating. We had planned to spend a rainy weekend at home and I desperately wanted to cook for him. Still unsure as to what his food preferences were (other than pizza and beer), I asked him what he was craving most. Much to my bewilderment, he requested tuna casserole. I had never made tuna casserole before, let alone tried it, but I was certain that it was something I could handle. Continue reading

Fireside Mussels

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Almost two years ago my parents decided to add a deck onto the back of their kitchen, and somehow in the planning process, my dad miraculously talked my mom in to allowing him to build a brick pizza oven along with it. I don’t know how he managed to convince her, but I’m pretty sure a bottle of Merlot was involved. Regardless, I was delighted. By association, I became the proud owner of a beautiful cooking device that I use almost of every time I’m home. In addition to crafting homemade pizzas (of which we’ve made dozens), we use it to cook calzones, empanadas, and, just recently, mussels. Now, I realize that a brick oven isn’t something you can just go out and buy, like a waffle iron or a ice cream maker, so I’ve also included cooking instructions for these Fireside Mussels using a regular outdoor grill (which is how I cook them whenever I’m not visiting my parents). No matter what vessel you use to bake these succulent bivalves, they’re going to taste amazing! Just promise me you’ll serve them with plenty of crusty bread to soak up the extra cooking liquid – believe me, you’ll thank me for it! Continue reading

Shrimp Ceviche

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Ceviche is a traditional Peruvian dish made of chopped seafood (usually shrimp, scallops, or geoduck), citrus juice, and a few other salsa-like ingredients. It’s delicious, it’s refreshing, and it’s really easy to make. So easy, in fact, that it cooks itself! You see, by combining citric acid with raw seafood, you’re able to cure the shellfish in a flavorful lemon/lime bath and essentially “cook” it without actually using heat, making it the perfect summer snack food during these hot August days. Now, I’m not sure what it is in the acid that causes the little fishy proteins to magically change, but it’s pretty cool to watch the uncooked shrimp slowly turn pink before your very eyes. I considered doing some extensive online research on this cooking method and then blowing you away with my vast knowledge on the subject, but that sounded exhausting. Instead, I’m including a link for some extra credit reading for those of you really interested in learning something new today. Continue reading

Cider Salmon in Parchment

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Howdy, ya’ll! Sooo…it’s Monday again, and if you guys are anything like me, you may have gone a bit overboard on the indulgent eating this weekend, and perhaps are feeling a little sluggish and somewhat guilty about it today. Well, I’ve got good news for you! It’s the beginning of a new week, which means you get to start fresh, plan some delicious meals, and get back on that healthy-eating wagon I like to call “The Never Ending Summer Diet.” Continue reading

Seared Sea Scallops in Coconut-Key Lime Curry Sauce

Aside from being a mouthful of a title, this Thai-inspired dish packs a mouthful of flavor! Sweet coconut milk, tart key limes, and spicy curry set the perfect backdrop for luscious, perfectly seared sea scallops (which I’ll teach you how to make in your own kitchen). Now I know what you’re probably thinking: This dish sounds a little too fancy for a weeknight, maybe I’ll just call in an order of Pad Thai instead. No – don’t do that! Sure, it may be easier, but come on, live a little! I’m telling you, make this simple dish tonight, Instagram your photos, then return to work tomorrow feeling like Mario Battali. I promise you’ll be a better person for it. Continue reading

Salmon Burgers with Wasabi Tartar and Quick Pickled Cucumbers

IMG_8913While my husband and I were on our Alaskan cruise in June, I had one of the best salmon burgers I’ve ever eaten at a local brewery in Skagway. It was one of those meals that while you’re eating it you keep saying, “Wow, this is good. No, this is really good!” over and over and over again. About halfway through devouring the burger I came up for air long enough to take a picture of it so that I could recreate the deliciousness in my own kitchen. After sitting down and talking to my grill-master husband, we concluded that the best course of action was to lightly season the fish, then grill it over low heat on a cedar plank to give it some smokiness. And I must say, it was delicious. Whether eaten by itself or in burger form, this method should be the new way you cook your salmon. Continue reading

Stuff My Kid Eats: Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Frittata

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As promised, here’s another creation from my Mother’s Day smoked salmon gift, this time coming to you in the form of a frittata. I just recently started making frittatas again after a couple year hiatus. I used to make them once a week when my husband and I were first married and had very little money. We called them “Frittata Fridays” because by the end of the week we’d be out of groceries, out of cash, and out of creative ides for dinner. The only thing we’d have left in the fridge were some eggs (which we somehow always had plenty of), a leftover piece of chicken or a few uneaten shrimp, and a couple of sad looking veggies in the crisper. Tired and discouraged, I’d whip everything up, throw it into the oven, and 20 minutes later we’d be sitting down to eat. Now no longer poor, (although still tired and sometimes discouraged), my love for frittatas was renewed when my daughter became a toddler. Her obsession with eggs (fried, scrambled, hard boiled, you name it!) made me want to cook up this old favorite and share it with her. I guess distance – and a picky toddler – makes the heart grow fonder. Continue reading

Smoked Salmon Focaccia with Asparagus & Eggs

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I realize this is an old topic, but for Mother’s Day this year I was the fortunate recipient of a pound of smoked salmon from Dean & DeLuca (one of my favorite New York food purveyors). After a couple mornings of piling it on the obligatory bagel and cream cheese, I found myself wanting to do something more interesting with my catch — I was picturing something healthy that I could serve my family for dinner. As luck would have it, my weekend trip to the Kansas City farmers’ market left me with a loaf focaccia bread, a bunch of asparagus, and a dozen farm-fresh eggs that were just begging to be used. After quickly cooking the eggs and asparagus, I heaped everything onto the focaccia, shoved it in the oven for a couple minutes, and what came out was a light and fresh meal that was still substantial enough to require a fork and steak knife to eat.

Smoked Salmon Focaccia with Asparagus & Eggs

Serves 4

  • 1 focaccia loaf
  • ½ bunch of asparagus, tender parts only
  • 4 large eggs
  • 5-6 oz. smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • Kosher Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped (or another fresh herb like dill, chives, parsley, or marjoram)
  • 1 tsp. truffle oil (optional)

Turn oven on to 350°F. Place focaccia on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes or until focaccia is warm throughout. Remove from oven and set aside. Turn oven temperature up to broil.

Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan halfway full of water and boil. Add asparagus and blanch for 1 minute. Immediately transfer asparagus to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Once cool, dry and set aside.

Lay smoked salmon on focaccia, spreading evenly, then top salmon with a single row of asparagus.

Lightly mist a medium skillet with cooking spray then set over medium-high heat. Once the skillet becomes hot, crack eggs into skillet and cook until the whites just set (the eggs will continue cooking under the broiler). Using a spatula, carefully place eggs over asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parmesan and chopped herbs. Place under the broiler and cook until cheese is bubbly, about 2-3 minutes (yolks should still be runny). Remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter, then drizzle with truffle oil if using.IMG_7493

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Check back later this week for more smoked salmon recipes!