In the ever continuing quest to eat less grains, I decided that I wanted to see how lentils paired with salmon. I found a couple recipes that I liked and combined them into one that worked for me. The lentils are cooked up nice and tender with veggies, and then mixed with the same mustard and herb butter that tops the salmon. This butter, you guys, it's outstanding. I had a little bit left over and I spread it over toasted sourdough and savored every bite with eye-rolling pleasure. I want to make more of the butter just to do that again. This meal is so healthy and so yummy that I can't stand it.
1⁄2 pound French green lentils
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 leek, white and light green parts only, sliced into half moons and thoroughly washed
few sprigs fresh thyme
2 tsp kosher salt
3⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic (2-3 cloves)
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 1⁄2 cups Chicken Stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp good red wine vinegar
4 (8-oz) center-cut salmon fillets, skin on
2 tbsp butter
5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp chopped chives
2 tsp grainy mustard
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Place the lentils in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 15 minutes, then drain.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saute pan, add the onions, leeks, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the drained lentils, celery, carrots, chicken stock, tomato paste, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaf, add the vinegar, and season to taste.
Stir together the softened butter, chives, grainy mustard, and lemon juice with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add 3 tbsp of the butter mixture to the lentils and stir to combine.
Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté salmon, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.
Serve salmon, topped with remaining 2 tbsp mustard-herb butter, over lentils.
Well, Folks - it's been a great year! I look forward to keep sharing delicious and (sometimes) healthy recipes with you in the years to come. Until then - here are my most pinned recipes of 2013!
#1 - This healthy version of Shepard's Pie with Sweet Potato and Turkey. I find this funny because the photos from this post are so bad!
#2 - Homemade Meat Ravioli - yum!
#3 - Homemade Spinach Ravioli. The raviolis are popular!
I don't really know what to say about this place. The reviews were all great, and my husband really liked it, but I wasn't impressed.
We tried plenty of sushi, as you can see, and I thought it was just average (especially for the price). Taro and Kushi are way better in my opinion.
I was more impressed with this creamy lobster and scallop dish, but not enough to make me come back.
There was nothing really wrong with any of it, but it didn't stand up to my expectations. My husband might disagree, but I found it to be overpriced for average sushi. The pear martini, however, was delicious.
Earlier this year I wrote about a restaurant called Sea Pearl, mostly in regards to their brunch. That review was pretty positive. I've been back a few more times for lunch with more mediocre results.
This lobster roll was pretty decent, but not my favorite in the area. It's very herby, which isn't bad - I just don't prefer it personally. I would say that Coastal Flats has better. Also, though the garlic rosemary fries were good, I wasn't a fan of the boring side salad that came with.
This burger was pretty good with the caramelized and pickled onions. But the foie gras was unnecessary. I can't believe I'm saying that because it was the main reason I ordered the burger, but it just felt like it didn't belong (unlike the stellar version at Mockingbird Bistro in Houston, TX).
Lastly, the Hudson Valley roll was a huge flop. Seared foie gras, raw tuna, and green apple with a balsamic plum wine reduction. This just didn't work, and the foie had a weird bitter taste. I noticed it on the burger, too, so however they are cooking their foie here is no good.
I think I'm going to be sticking to brunch for awhile.
I had never made scallops at home before, so I was pretty nervous. But as it turns out, it's pretty easy! Just make sure that you buy them no more than 1 day before you want to cook them, keep them on ice if you aren't going straight home, and store them in the coldest part of the fridge. Also, be warned that your house will smell like seafood after you cook them.
As for the pasta - whole wheat linguine, lemon, peas, thyme, and of course - fresh ricotta. Fresh and light and creamy deliciousness!
Here's one more shot to tide you over...
The new Mosaic Shopping Center in Merrifield, VA is super cool. There's a Target, an indie movie theater, a gym, boutiques, and cafes. Sea Pearl is one of the larger, less casual restaurants in the center. The website describes it as "Asian inspired modern American cuisine." The main focus is seafood - they have both cooked dishes and sushi - but they also have some meat dishes and a pretty good brunch (on Saturday, too, which I love). It's quite large and the decor is really lovely. It's a little on the feminine side, which would make it perfect for ladies' brunch or girls' night out (the drinks are good, but with DC prices). I've never seen it packed, so large groups could be seated easily.
Let's start with Brunch, because that is what I go for most often.
Cinnamon churros with warm chocolate dipping sauce: these are super awesome - hot, fresh, crunchy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. Love it.
Ricotta fritters with honey and seasonal fruit (this time it was apple): these are good too, fluffy and rich. If you had to choose only one pastry though, I'd go with the churros.
Now that Hurricane Sandy has passed us without incident, I can catch up on posting! Thanks to everyone for praying and thinking about us out here on the East Coast.
I have been trying to expand my repertoire of fish dishes beyond just salmon and discovered a really easy way to cook halibut. Wrapping it in parchment paper with with various other ingredients and baking it leaves it moist, flaky, and flavorful. Plus the presentation is really cool!
One combination that I really liked was lemon, cherry tomatoes, artichokes, olive oil, and basil. I made this right at the end of summer with super sweet cherry tomatoes - look at those colors!
I don't normally cook a lot of seafood other than my usual seared salmon, but in the summer I do get cravings for it. The reason is unknown - maybe because it is light and refreshing, maybe because I wish I was at the beach. Either way, I have a couple of light and healthy Summer seafood recipes to share with you.
These shrimp tacos are filled out with a slaw of cabbage, corn, fresh squeezed orange and lime juice, and a dab of sour cream. A great balance between warm tortillas, hot shrimp fresh out of the pan, and cool, crunchy slaw - they are healthy, filling, and super tasty.
This next recipe combines two superfoods into one awesome meal for Salmon Burgers with Tangy Avocado Sauce.
It has gotten hot, hot, hot out here - plants and people alike are wilting in the heat. On days like these where you can't bear to be outside for more than 5 minutes, slaving over a stove is out of the question. These shrimp rolls are the perfect thing for oppressively hot days: fast, easy, cool, and refreshing.
All you have to do is mix together cold, cooked shrimp with celery, scallions, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Put a piece of butter lettuce on a bun, top with the shrimp mixture, done! Dinner in less than 10 minutes.
Creamy Shrimp Rolls
adapted from Real Simple
Makes 4 rolls
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
kosher salt and pepper
1 1/2 lbs cooked medium shrimp, cut in half crosswise
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup sliced scallion greens
4 soft buns
1 small head butter lettuce, torn into pieces
In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Fold in the shrimp, celery, and scallions. Line the buns with the lettuce and fill with the shrimp mixture.
So sorry for the break - we have been on vacation in the gorgeous coastal town of Cannon Beach, Oregon where my husband grew up.
While we were there, we stayed at the Stephanie Inn and I highly recommend it to anyone planning a visit. The rooms are fantastic (especially if you get one with a giant jacuzzi tub and a beach view), the staff are some of the nicest people I've ever met, and the amenities are stellar.