Braised Salmon with Tarragon & Creamy Greens

I had some friends over for dinner last week and decided to make a version of a recipe I recently saw with salmon, creme fraiche, and greens. I added tarragon, fennel, shallots, and garlic scapes to my version. For a side, I made crispy roasted potatoes with garlic. The potatoes were great because they soaked up the amazing sauce. It was delicious! I will definitely be making this again.

Ingredients: (adapted from BBC Good Food)
4 skinless salmon filets
1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
2-3 garlic scapes, chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1.5 cups chicken stock (or broth)
8-10 fava bean pods, beans blanched and skins removed
3 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon
1/2 cup crème fraîche
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Crispy Roasted Potatoes:
3 Yukon potatoes, sliced very thin
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

If you’re making the potatoes, start with those as they need a while to bake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thinly slice the potatoes and layer them vertically in a baking dish. You may need to play around with how best to fit them in the dish depending on size. Add the garlic in between most of the potato slices, then mix some salt and pepper into a little bowl of olive oil, and brush well onto the potatoes. Bake in the oven for 1.5 hours, or until crispy and browned. If needed brush with a little more olive oil toward the end.

Now for the salmon. In a large skillet, saute the fennel, garlic scapes, and shallot in some olive oil until softened. Add the chicken stock and tarragon and let simmer for a few minutes. Next, add the crème fraîche, salt, and pepper. Cook for another minute or so, then nestle the salmon and fava beans into the pan, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Every couple of minutes spoon some of the sauce over the fish. Serve right away with potatoes on the side.

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Portuguese Boiled Dinner

One of the best things in the world is to sit down and have a big family dinner. There’s just something really special about it! A lot of memories and past times are reminisced about while passing dishes around, and a lot of memories are made while you are sitting there, too. I always look forward to going home to my mothers house because we all get together, and 99% of the time food is involved. I’m assuming this is because we are Portuguese and love to celebrate family time with a big hearty meal!

This weekend we went home to Rhode Island for Mother’s Day. My mom was making Portuguese boiled dinner, which she has been making my whole life- it is one of those sentimental meals that I love very much. She learned how to make it from my great-grandmother, and yesterday she taught me how to make it. I have documented it here to share with you all! It is quite simple, but does take a few hours of cooking time. Well worth it though. And what’s even better is the next day you chop up all the leftovers and make hash out of it- which I have also included in this post for you as well!

Overall a wonderful weekend with my family! Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

Ingredients: (this is for a double batch, use half for a smaller portion)
2 smoked pork shoulders
5 lbs whole carrots
2 heads of cabbage
6 large Linguiça links
6 large (Portuguese) chourico links
Apple cider vinegar, for serving
Butter, for serving

In a HUGE pot, add the pork shoulders and cover with water. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, cut everything else up. What you need to keep in mind is that all of these things will be cooking for a long period of time, so if you cut them to small then they will just cook down to mush. For the carrots, keep all the thin ones whole, and only slice the tops of the ones that are very thick. Next, core the cabbage and cut into quarters. Also peel and quarter the potatoes as well. Finally, cut the linguiça and chourico into about 3 inch pieces.

After the pork has boiled for 20 minutes, dump the water and fill it with new water. The reason you do this is to get rid of some the salt that comes off the meat. Add the linguiça and chourico to the pot, pushing it down around the pork. Add the carrots as well then cook for 1 hour. Next add the potatoes and cook for another hour. At this point, depending on how much room you have in the pot, you can either remove the potatoes and sausage or leave them in before you add the cabbage. It really depends on how big of a batch you’re making and how big your pot it. Seeing we were making a huge batch, we removed them then just warmed them through before serving. We also removed one of the pork shoulders (at this point it’s cooked all the way) to make even more room. But if you have the room in the pot or are making the smaller batch, then you can leave it all in! Up to you. Just be VERY careful when scooping things out or moving things around in there, everything has been cooking so long that it can break apart if not handled gently! Once the cabbage is added, cook for one more hour.

To serve, plate all ingredients in separate bowls and pass around the table! We love to put apple cider vinegar on our cabbage and potatoes. We also keep butter on the table as well, depending on how people like to eat their boiled dinner!

Thanks mom for sharing this recipe with me, I can’t wait to teach my future kiddo how to make it one day as well. Love you!

 HASH MADE FROM THE LEFTOVERS!

To make the hash, simply chop up the leftovers and add to a frying pan, cooking for about 15 minutes. Next add it to a baking sheet and place in the oven on 350 degrees for another 15-20 minutes or until crispy. Top with some runny poached or fried eggs!

Potato Kale & Goat Cheese Galette With Spiced Honey

You can pretty much turn any ingredients into a yummy galette! I’ve used a variation of root vegetables in the winter months, and fresh berries in the summer. You can’t really go wrong! The hardest part I think is the crust- it’s important that the butter is very cold when you’re working with it, otherwise the dough will just crumble when you’re rolling it out. A great trick which I recently learned, is to roll the dough out on a large piece of saran wrap then simply flip it over onto your baking sheet when ready! It really helps it from breaking on you.

This one recipe that I threw together tonight was really delicious, but I do think I will add more cheese next time to make the inside gooey-er. I’m thinking if I mix the goat cheese with a 1/2 cup or so of ricotta cheese then it will add a nice texture. I also added some spiced honey which I bought at Bedford Cheese Shop in Brooklyn (or you can buy here) which I thought added a fun kick to it. You could always use plain non-spicy honey as well.

Ingredients:

Dough-
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
3 tablespoons ice water

Other:
3 medium red potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 small bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
2 ounces goat cheese
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Spiced (or regular) honey, to drizzle

To make the dough, place the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, and salt into the food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the cold butter (make sure it is cold!) and pulse until the mixture is combined and the texture resembles small peas. Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time while pulsing, you will know it is done when it sticks together without crumbling. Beware of over mixing! Place dough on a lightly floured surface and form into a disk shape. Wrap with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place sliced potatoes on a baking sheet with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. In the meantime, toss the kale in some olive oil and saute for about 5 minutes.

Remove dough from the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface until you have a 12 inch circle. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and put back in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes. Assemble your galette by starting with a layer of potatoes, leaving a 1-2 inch boarder around the edges. Next add the kale, followed by the goat cheese. Repeat with 3 ingredients. Gently fold the sides of the dough over the edges. Place in oven for 30 minutes, then remove and drizzle with honey. Let cool for 5 minutes before eating!

Potato and Shiitake Tart With Truffled Goat Cheese

Pretty much anything you put on puff pastry is going to be great- it’s buttery, flaky, and delicious! So when I got some potatoes and mushrooms in my bag I thought I would experiment a little. This tart took about 30 minutes from beginning to end and was delicious. I think next time I will add more mushrooms and use some colorful purple potatoes as well. I actually thought I had purple potatoes because the skin had a purple tint, but they were white when I cut them open so not sure what type they were! Either way they were good. Next time I make this I think I will also roast the sliced potatoes in the oven first so they get a little browned before adding them to the tart. Th potatoes will look prettier that way. In the end I topped it with some fresh miner’s lettuce to add some nice color, but you could use other greens such as arugula.

Ingredients:
1 box puff pastry, thawed
1 egg
1 large potato, thinly sliced
1/2 large shallot, chopped
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and cut into chunks
5 ounces truffled goat cheese (I used half)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Truffle oil, for drizzle (optional)
Handful of pretty greens- such as miner’s lettuce or arugula- for topping

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the thawed dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment. I sprinkled a little flour to help the dough from sticking. With a knife, make a 1/2 inch border around the tart, without going through to the other side. Poke some holes in the center of the tart with a fork to let the heat escape while cooking. Brush with the egg and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden. You will see that it puffs up a lot when it cooks, but don’t worry! When you remove it from the oven, poke a few additional holes with a sharp knife then while wearing oven mitts, gently press down on the dough to release the air- it will flatten.

In a pot of boiling water, cook the potatoes until fork tender. Careful not overcook them! Alternatively, you could also drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they start to brown- which is what I will try next time. Remove and set aside. Add some olive oil to a pan and cook the shallots for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue for another 5 minutes until softened and cooked through. When the dough is ready, top with the potatoes, followed by the mushroom and shallot mixture. Break up the cheese and add as much as you like. Place in oven for 10 minutes. Once removed, drizzle with some truffle oil, fresh ground pepper, and a small handful of greens. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Swiss Chard and Potato Gratin

Thanksgiving is next week and I am heading to Georgia to spend it with my father! Every year my sisters and I like to come up with a fun menu and cook everything for the family. We try to jazz up traditional dishes to make them more modern and fun, but without being too wild that it doesn’t feel like good ol’ Thannksgiving food. I had wanted to try making a gratin with greens in it, so when I got a big amount of Swiss red chard I went for it. It was a really easy and fast dish to make- perfect for Thanksgiving!

Ingredients: (adapted from fiveandspice)
2 big bunches of Swiss chard
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
2 large red bliss potatoes, sliced 1/8 thin
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Trim the Swiss chard where the stem meets the leaf (you can save the stems and pickle them!) then wash the leaves well and julienne into ribbons. Place in a pot over medium heat with a tablespoon of water and cover. Let cook for about 5 minutes or until wilted and the water absorbed. Next add 2 tablespoons of butter to the greens and melt completely, followed by the 2 tablespoons of flour. Mix well and cook for another minute or two so that the flour cooks. Add the chicken broth and cook until it thickens, about 2 minutes, then add the cream, cheese, and salt/pepper to taste. Turn off the heat. You’ll notice it is pink from the red chard, but when you bake it the pink goes away. I was a little worried I was going to have pink gratin myself!

Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray or butter and layer the bottom with sliced potatoes. Top with half of the creamy greens, followed by another later of potato and the rest of the greens. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan and add the bread crumbs, tossing together and toasting slightly. Sprinkle over the top of the gratin and into the oven it goes for 30 minutes. Toward the end I noticed my bread crumbs were perfectly browned, so I covered the gratin with tin foil for the last 5 minutes or so to make sure the top didn’t burn. Just keep and eye on it and cover if you feel like it needs it. Let cool for a few minutes before serving, then enjoy!

Potato, Carrot, and Parsnip Soup With Sausage

I’ve had a big craving lately for some homemade soup, so when I got a bunch of potatoes, carrots, and parsnips this week, I though it was a good opportunity to get my fix. Soups are great because they really don’t take very long to make, plus you can basically throw in whatever you like. I used sausage in this recipe but it could be substituted for any meat you like, or no meat!

Ingredients:
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
2 red bliss potatoes, skin on and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 large parsnip, peeled and diced
4 cups water (or enough to cover your veggies in the pot)
2 Italian sausage links
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar, optional

Add some oil to a heavy pot over medium heat and sauté the shallot until translucent, about one minute. Add the potatoes, carrot, and parsnips, then cover with water and bring to a boil. Once the potatoes are cooked through (about 10 minutes) turn off the heat. Take half of the soup and put it into a food processor, blending until smooth, then pour it back into the pot with the rest of the soup. Mix together to incorporate. Keep the soup on low heat while you cook the sausage in a separate pan. Once the sausage is browned, add to the pot of soup along with the fresh dill, paprika, and red wine vinegar. I added the vinegar because I felt like it needed a little acidity when I tasted it, but up to you if you add it! Ladle into bowls and top with a little more dill for garnish.

 

Potato, Ham, and Rainbow Chard Hash

Hash is one of my all time favorite breakfast foods! Using a cast iron pan is key, and letting it cook for a while so that the ingredients almost melt together and get crispy is also important. Top the hash with some runny poached eggs and you have the best breakfast ever (or dinner in my case tonight!) It is incredibly easy- you just have to have a little patience while it cooks down and does its thaang.

Ingredients: (makes about 2-3 servings)
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, cut into small cubes
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup rainbow chard, chopped
6 oz sliced ham, chopped (I used Applegate organic ham)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Eggs, for poaching
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, for poaching eggs (optional)
Olive oil

Add some olive oil to a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes, stirring every minute or so to avoid them sticking to the pan too much. Once they start browning a little, add the smoked paprika. In a separate pan, saute the garlic in some olive oil for about 30 seconds, then add the onions and cook until translucent. Next add the bell pepper, then salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat and let the onion/pepper mixture cook down until the potatoes are ready. You want the potatoes to be fork tender with a little brown on them. I cooked my potatoes for about 15-20 minutes before adding the onion and pepper mixture. After you add the mixture to the potatoes, continue to cook down for another 5 minutes or so, then add the rainbow chard, followed by the ham. Continue to stir the hash every couple of minutes, and in between mixing push everything down with a wooden spoon so that the nice cast iron pan can do its job and brown everything. In my opinion, the more you cook it the better it gets. Just taste it as you go and turn off the heat when you think it has reached its hash potential!

When the hash is about done, get a pot of boiling water going. Time for perfect poached eggs! Add the apple cider or white vinegar to the boiling water, this will help keep the egg fluffy. Crack the egg into a small ramekin and have it ready to go. Take a spoon and swirl the water to create a little whirlpool, then gently pour the egg into the center. This will help the egg keep its shape. Cook for about 1 1/2-2 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon. I usually pull it out and gently feel the center of the egg to make sure it is as soft as I like it. I get my local eggs from my CSA and I swear they taste so better then supermarket eggs. They seem to be creamier or something, I love them. Anyway, plate the hash and top with the poached eggs!