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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Braised Chicken with Gnocchi and Artichokes

While the Italians may have invented gnocchi, the French arguably perfected it with their love of soups and braises. This warm and comforting recipe features chicken, artichokes and gnocchi slow simmered in white wine and chicken stock. Topped with crème fraîche and fresh dill, the braising renders everything perfectly tender and mouthwatering.

After making this dish the second time around, I found that using two 6-ounce jars of DeLallo Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and reserved about 4 tablespoons of the marinade and added it to the braising liquid, added instant flavor to this slow-simmered dish. I also left the skin on the chicken for more flavor in the dish.Although amazing as a stand alone main course, I also serve this dish with a rustic French bread and side dish of steamed asparagus.

And as I think about it, this braised chicken dish, it reminds of the classic Southern dish, Chicken and Dumplings my Grand use to make when I was child. And while many of us are still waiting for Spring to begin and the snows to melt, this dish really hits the spot and is so filling with the lemony taste of dill.

Enjoy!

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 chicken thighs and 2 chicken drumsticks
1 yellow onion
1/4 bunch fresh dill
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup crème fraîche
2 cups artichoke hearts
8 ounces prepared gnocchi


Directions:

Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Peel onion and mince. Rinse dill and roughly chop leaves, discarding stems.

Heat butter and olive oil in a large high-sided pan over medium-high heat. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. When oil is shimmering, add chicken and cook until bottom is browned and lifts easily from pan, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until second side is browned, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove chicken and set aside. Discard fat from pan.

Add onion to pan from chicken over medium heat and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add white wine and chicken broth and scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan.

Return chicken to pan, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil over high heat. Then cover and reduce heat to medium low. Braise, covered, until chicken is cooked through and pulling away from bone, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove, reserving liquid in pan, cover with foil to keep warm, and set aside.

Add crème fraîche to pan with braising liquid and whisk to combine. Increase heat to medium high. Add artichoke hearts and gnocchi and cook, covered, until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Return chicken to pan and turn to coat, about 1 minute.

Divide chicken, artichokes, gnocchi, and braising liquid evenly between two pasta bowls. Garnish with dill and serve.

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Heirloom Tomato, Cheddar and Bacon Pie

 

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Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck, 2013

Southern Living Magazine raised the ante on classic tomato pie with a sour cream crust studded with bacon, layers of colorful tomatoes, and plenty of cheese and herbs to tie it all together. Nobody wants a soggy tomato pie, so for best results, seed the tomatoes and drain the slices before baking.This recipe is a bit time consuming and may take up to three hours to prepare,  but it is sure worth the effort!

RECIPE BY SOUTHERN LIVING
June 2013

Serves 6 to 8 

Ingredients:
For the Crust:
2 1/4 cups self-rising soft-wheat flour , such as White Lily®
1 cup cold butter, cut up
8 cooked bacon slices, chopped
3/4 cup sour cream

For Filling :
2 3/4 pounds assorted large heirloom tomatoes, divided (*See Cook’s Notes)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) freshly shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons fresh dill sprigs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons plain yellow cornmeal

Directions:
Prepare Crust: Place flour in bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer; cut in cold butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles small peas. Chill 10 minutes.

Add bacon to flour mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Gradually add sour cream, 1/4 cup at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Spoon mixture onto a heavily floured surface; sprinkle lightly with flour, and knead 3 or 4 times, adding more flour as needed. Roll to a 13-inch round. Gently place dough in a 9-inch fluted tart pan with 2-inch sides and a removable bottom. Press dough into pan; trim off excess dough along edges. Chill 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare Filling: Cut 2 pounds of tomatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and remove seeds. Place tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Stir together Cheddar cheese, next 10 ingredients, and remaining 1 tsp. salt in a large bowl until combined.

Pat tomato slices dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle cornmeal over bottom of crust. Lightly spread 1/2 cup cheese mixture onto crust; layer with half of tomato slices in slightly overlapping rows. Spread with 1/2 cup cheese mixture. Repeat layers, using remaining tomato slices and cheese mixture. Cut remaining 3/4 lb. tomatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and arrange on top of pie.

Bake at 425° for 40 to 45 minutes, shielding edges with foil during last 20 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 1 to 2 hours before serving.

 

*Cook’s Notes:
To learn more about how to seed and drain tomatoes, please see Tori Avey’s tutorial at the following link: How to Seed Tomatoes

And a method is briefly outlined below:

  1. Place your tomato on a cutting board, stem side facing up.
  2. Roll the tomato sideways so the stem faces to the right, and cut the tomato down the center “equator” line into two halves.
  3. Use a small spoon or a quarter spoon melon baller to scoop the tomato seeds and any tough white core out of the four seed cavities. Discard the seeds.

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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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