Grilled Salmon Steaks and Cucumber Salad

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Salmon steaks, cut crosswise through the backbone, instead of fillets makes got the prefect grilled fish. The steaks are thicker, making them easier to flip while grilling. A yogurt-based cucumber salad packed with fresh herbs acts both as a sauce and a side dish for salmon in this low-carb seafood dinner.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 seedless English cucumber,thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
4 salmon steaks
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh dill, finely chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint, finely chopped

Directions:
Set grill or grill pan to medium-high. In a large bowl, season the cucumber and red onion with the salt, tossing to combine. Let stand at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, with paper towels, blot the salmon until dry. Brush on both sides with 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place salmon on grill and cook 5 minutes per side, until cooked through. Meanwhile, drain cucumber and onion well.

In the same large bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, vinegar, dill, mint, and remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold in drained cucumber and onion. Serve with salmon.

Grilling Notes:
To prevent sticking, be sure your grill is very clean and very hot before placing the salmon on it. When flipping, if the salmon does not lift from the grate easily, wait 15–30 seconds, then try again.

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A Tale of Two Asparagus Dishes

Asparagus….one of my favorite vegetables to eat, especially for Easter Dinner.

Today, I present two dishes from two different eras: Marinated Asparagus (18th Century)  and   Sauteed Asparagus with Gribiche Sauce (20th Century).

 

Marinated Asparagus

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Asparagus became widely available in America during Colonial times, and was a particular favorite of Thomas Jefferson. This dish is prepared by a common French technique that dates back to the Roman Era. Jefferson enjoyed this recipe for asparagus while he was Minister to France. Given how much asparagus grew in his gardens at Monticello, this dish was more than likely prepared by his enslaved French-trained chef, James Hemings and later served at Monticello and at the White House.

Sauteed Asparagus with Gribiche Sauce

 

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Gribiche Sauce is basically Egg salad’s sophisticated cousin. This sauce dates back to the early 20th century when the “mother sauces” were established by French chefs Marie Antoine-Carême and Auguste Escoffier. Although gribiche is not considered a foundational sauce in the French culinary sphere, it originates as a variant of the egg-based “mother sauce,” hollandaise. It has been adapted and modified by chefs and writers, but the true essence of gribiche remains: finely chopped hard-boiled eggs mixed with mustard, herbs, and capers for an added bit of tanginess. The hard-boiled eggs are key: this is the defining difference between gribiche and mayonnaise, which is made with raw eggs.

The nature of a sauce is that it rarely ever tastes the same, and this rings especially true for gribiche where the components to create your personal version of it are almost always on hand. Cornichon pickles, shallots, and red wine vinegar are among the many ingredients that can be added to the recipe. It can be served as an accompaniment alongside an appetizer of cured meats, as a flavorful addition draped over roasted fish and vegetables, or simply as a dipping sauce for a fresh baguette. It’s safe to say gribiche’s ease, versatility, and flavor have won the hearts of culinary enthusiasts around the world.

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All photographs and content, excepted where noted, are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

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Lamb Chops with Hot Pepper Jelly

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Jelly isn’t just for toast or the filling of a magnificent doughnut. Jelly also makes the key component of this lip-smacking sauce, with a healthy dose of heat and vinegar just perfect for lamb. Speaking of perfect matches, chives and sour cream with potatoes are about as classic as it comes, and healthy broccolini makes for a fresh side dish. There’s nothing in this meal that isn’t perfectly balanced, as it graces your table for an Easter Sunday Dinner.

 

Lamb Loin Chops dressed with Hot Pepper Jelly and Garlicky Parmesan Chive Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Broccolini

#TheQuarantineKitchenDiaries

Serves 2

Ingredients:
Vegetable cooking spray
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sour cream
6 chive sprigs
2 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Greek Seasoning
½ pound broccolini
4 tablespoons Miss Jenny’s Hot Pepper Jelly™
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
Four 6-8 ounce Lamb Loin Chops 1 1/2-inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt, taste
Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and coated with  cooking spray

Prepare the Ingredients: Mince the chives. Cut potatoes into large evenly-sized chunks. Trim the end of the broccolini stems. Pat lamb chops  dry with paper towels. and season both sides with seasoning blend.

To Make the Mashed Potatoes: Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes. Cook until fork-tender, 14-18 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of cooking water. Drain potatoes in a colander and return to pot. Add cheese,  the chives, butter, sour cream, reserved potato cooking water, and season with salt to taste. Mash until smooth. Keep warm and set aside.

To sear the lamb chops, place a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add  lamb chops to hot pan and sear undisturbed until browned, 3-4 minutes. Transfer lamb to one half of prepared baking sheet, seared side up. Reserve pan; no need to wipe clean.

Finish the lamb chops and roast broccolini by placing the broccolini on empty half of baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and a pinch of  pepper. Massage oil into broccolini. Spread broccolini into a single layer on their side. Roast in hot oven until broccolini is tender and lamb reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, 8-12 minutes. Rest roasted lamb, at least 3 minutes. While lamb rests, make sauce.

To Make Hot Pepper Jelly Sauce: Return the skillet used to sear chops to medium heat. Add vinegar to hot pan and cook until liquid is reduced by half, 30-60 seconds. Whisk in jalapeño jelly until smooth. Remove from the heat.

To serve, place the chops, broccolini and potatoes on the plate, spooning sauce over lamb chops.

Bon appétit!

Cook’s Notes:
Lamb chops are best when cooked medium, when the internal temperature of meat reaches 145° F on the instant thermometer. Avoid lamb chops being well done, even though they are still delicious that way, too.

Keep in mind, lamb loin chops are very tender cut and they cook relatively quickly. It’s really enough just to cook them on the stove top on high heat for 3 minutes on one side, flip them and cook for another 3 minutes on the other side. Then let them rest off heat, covered, in the hot skillet for about 10-15 minutes. It’s not necessary to put them in the oven, but if you want them on a more done side, you can cook them longer on low heat on the stove top or put them in the oven at 350° F for 10 extra minutes, after searing for 3 minutes on each side.

If you prefer to make your own Greek Seasoning, be sure to use a robust blend of onion, garlic, oregano and mint. The blend will add an authentic Greek flavor to chicken, lamb, kabobs and salads. Use this blend in the same amount as McCormick Gourmet™ Greek Seasoning.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Ingredients:
1/4 cup McCormick® Onions, Chopped
3 tablespoons McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Mint
2 tablespoons McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Basil
2 tablespoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Oregano
1 tablespoon McCormick® Garlic, Minced
3/4 teaspoon sea salt from McCormick® Sea Salt Grinder

Directions:
Mix all ingredients until well blended. Store in tightly covered jar in cool, dry place.

 

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All photographs and content, excepted where noted, are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

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