I love to cook. Which is good, because I eat a lot. And I have some pretty serious food allergies. So whether it’s making homemade energy bars for mid-workout, or a tasty recovery meal for after, you’ll often find me in the kitchen immersed in my next foodie creation.
I also love experimenting in the kitchen. Sometimes it works out great. When it does, I’d like to share some of my tasty, healthy, and nut-free recipes with you! So keep an eye out for more Foodie Fridays. They probably won’t happen every week, but they will always happen on Friday (it’s alliteration, folks, bear with me!)
Hey all you lovers of delicious food! I have a double recipe for you today: one of my own creations, and one tried and true recipe from a fantastic book, Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads.
As you can guess, the bread recipe comes from the bread book, and the salmon recipe come from my head, with much inspiration from another book, The Flavor Bible, which is a go-to for me when I’m attempting to pair flavors I don’t work with often. The Flavor Bible is basically a repository of awesome flavor combinations. You can look up salmon, for instance, and it gives a list of flavors that go well with salmon, as well as a smaller collection of multiple flavors that go well together with salmon. This book is by my side whenever I’m experimenting with new flavors.
As it’s summer and grilling time, I cooked my fish on the grill. You can do it in the oven though if you prefer. Ok, let’s start:
Citrus Grilled Salmon, for two
2 pieces of skinless salmon fillet, 4-5 oz
1T Olive Oil
1 Large Orange
1/2T Soy Sauce
A handful of Snap Peas, Broccoli, or some other crunchy, slightly bitter vegetable
Salt and Pepper
Clean the peas or dice the broccoli, or do whatever else might need to be done to whichever vegetable you choose to use.
Cut the orange in half. Squeeze the juice from one half and slice the other half.
Mix oil, molasses, soy sauce, and orange juice. Dip the salmon in this mixture until thoroughly coated.
Lay the orange slices on two pieces of foil, and set the fish on top. Place the veggies on top of this, then drizzle the remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lightly tuck the edges of the foil around the fish, but don’t seal it tightly.
In keeping with my standard cooking preference of improvisation, the cooking time and temp can vary. Firstly, the thickness of your salmon fillet will influence the cooking time, especially since you won’t be turning the fish over halfway through cooking. Heat your oven or grill to 400-425 F (my grill temp fluctuates a bit), and cook the salmon, turning it about halfway through, for 8-15 minutes. Yeah, take a guess based on the thickness of your salmon (under and inch thick probably won’t take more than 10 minutes) and then start checking it for doneness a minute or so before you think it will be done. Salmon should flake apart readily, and be light pink all the way through.
*Confession: I can’t actually eat salmon anymore. My food allergies snatched that one away from me about three years ago. However, I still cook regularly with foods I can’t eat, as part of my personal cooking service. I rely on my knowledge of recipes I’ve seen other chefs prepare, the help of guides like the Flavor Bible, my sense of smell, my ability to taste other components of the dish (in this case, the sauce), and in some cases my memory of what a food tastes like if I could eat it at one time, like salmon. This helps me stay in touch with my love of food, even if I can’t eat it. I prepared this fish for a family here in Bend last week.*
Onion Lover’s Bread
YUM YUM YUM! This bread is one of my favorites, and I’ve made a lot of bread in my time. It’s also a great bread if you’re looking to impress, as it’s not only beautifully braided, but each strand is also stuffed! In this case with a delicious mixture of parmesan cheese and onion.
For anyone who has not made bread before, before you say, wait I can’t make bread! let me assure you that bread making is not nearly as tedious as the uninitiated might believe. Or at least as I believed before I made my first loaf! (Although I will say this might be an ambitious first bread…but you’ve got this!)
Okay, for the bread you will need:
1T active dry yeast
4 C flour (I use white for this bread. It’s better texturally)
1.25 C water
1.5 t salt
1/3 C dry milk
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C butter
1 egg, room temp, lightly beaten
And for the filling:
More butter! (Another 3-4 ish T)
1 C of very finely chopped onion
Shredded or grated parmesan… the recipe calls for a mere tablespoon… that’s nowhere near enough! I eyeball it.
1 t each garlic salt and paprika
The recipe also calls for 1 T poppy seeds. Those are a dangerous enough allergen that I don’t even cook with them. Besides, I want to be able to eat this bread, not just bake it for my friends! But you might like the poppy seeds… I wouldn’t know, I don’t have any idea what they taste like!
Here’s what you do:
In a saucepan, melt the butter in the water, adding the sugar, salt and dry milk. Remove from heat and add the egg. The mixture should be quite warm to the touch, but not uncomfortably hot.
Mix the yeast and 2 C flour. Then add the liquid. Actually, before you do that you’d better check the temp of that liquid again… warm, even mildly hot, but not hot hot or you’ll kill the yeasties! (And then you will bake a brick, not a fluffy loaf of bread.) Mix this until it is a uniform, moist clump, then add the remaining flour. Stir until it all comes together, using your hands if necessary, or a bread hook if you have one!
Let rise in a warm place for an hour.
While this is happening, make the filling:
Sauté the onion in the butter over low heat, adding the garlic salt and paprika. Remove from heat and mix in some parm. And the poppy seeds if you wish.
Kneading time! The best part of bread making. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead for ten minutes or until it feels elastic-y. Or similar in texture to your earlobe. You can add a little more flour if necessary. Now for the really fun part…
Roll the dough into a rectangle ~ 12×18 inches, then cut into three 4-inch wide strips. Spread the filling on the strips, leaving a margin on either side. Add more parm if you like. Roll each piece from the long side and place them on your greased baking sheet.
Braiding is fun. Pinch the ends of the strands together, then spread the rest of the strands as far apart as you can get them. This gives you more space to work with and allows for a tighter braid. But even if your brain is messy, the bread will still taste delicious, so don’t worry. Leave your braid to rise for another 45 minutes.
I like to brush my loaf with some more butter to give it a golden crisp on top. Then bake at 350 F for about 40 minutes. You will know the loaf is done when it’s golden and sounds hollow when you tap it!
So that’s it! Be in touch if there’s an ingredient you’d like to see me use, or if you have an idea for a tasty dish I might like. If you haven’t already done so you can join my email list to receive the next Foodie Friday post or more news from the world of traveling and training, or find me on Facebook and Instagram.