Salmon with Spicy Citrus Soy Sauce

The hot weather does not inspire me to stay in the kitchen very long, so I have been making light, quick meals for dinner, and Mr. BT has been making nice big salads that include the home-grown lettuce of which he is very proud. This past Shabbat, I made a lovely fish dinner with salmon in an Asian citrus sauce over soba noodles. I served it with steamed asparagus and sauteed mushrooms.

Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour, which is wheat-free and gluten free, and can be served hot or cold. The Bretons make crepes with the flour and the Russians make Blini. It is also a good honey plant that produces a rich, dark honey. The buckwheat hulls are used to fill upholstery and the groats are now used to produce gluten-free beer.

I like to serve the soba noodles warm and sprinkle a little sesame oil on them just before serving.

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Salmon with Spicy Citrus Soy Sauce
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • Juice of small lemon
  • Juice of small orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • 2 salmon fillets
Instructions
  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Place the salmon fillets in a frying pan with a little oil over medium heat. Add the sauce and cook until the salmon is still slightly pink in the center. Serve over soba noodles or brown rice.

Happy 2010!

The first year I moved to Israel I invited a few friends over to my flat for a nice New Year’s dinner. I bought sparklers and really bad champagne in  Shouk HaCarmel in Tel Aviv. A few minutes before midnight we went out to my rooftop terrace, lit the sparklers and started yelling out “Happy New Year!”. Much to my chagrin, a neighbor yelled out of his window “Sheket!”, which means “shutup!” I never really celebrated New Year’s Eve again.

New Year’s Eve is not celebrated in Israel like everywhere else. Religious Jews do not recognize it as the new year because the start of the new year in the Jewish calendar is Rosh Hashana, which falls during the early autumn. So, even though you will see people celebrating in restaurants, pubs, and discos around the country, most people do not celebrate it.

Mr BT and I had a quiet dinner at home.

I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to cook on Thursday, so I had to find some dishes that I could make quickly, but were gourmet. I found an interesting salmon recipe from Chef Eric Ripert, who is chef of the famous Michelin three-star restaurant, Le Bernardin. I have never eaten there, but I have seen him on few cooking shows and his dishes always looked delicious. The recipe called for the salmon to be wrapped in phyllo pastry, so I went to the supermarket to buy a package of phyllo the day before. I took the box out the night before and when I came home to start cooking I discovered, to my annoyance, that I had bought puff pastry! The dessert I was making also called for phyllo, so what was the Baroness to do?! I improvised, like any good chef would do. I had a package of rice paper wrappers that I hadn’t used yet. I had Mr BT check on the internet if rice paper would crisp up like phyllo, and he reported that it was crispier than wonton wrappers. So,  I  replaced the phyllo  with the rice paper and it was a huge success. The dish is light and delicious and I will definitely make it again. We began the meal with a steamed artichoke with aioli, then I served the salmon on a bed of sauteed mushrooms with a side of Creole Orange Rice. The rice is spicy with a nice hint of fresh orange. It was perfect with the salmon.

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Cranberry Bourekas
Servings: 10 to 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup Granny Smith apple peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped candied orange peel
  • 1 package puff pastry
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Line a baking sheet with silicone and set aside. Put the cranberries and water in a small pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, about 3 minutes or until the cranberries pop. Drain them, discarding the liquid and return the cranberries to the pan.
  2. Add the apple, raisins, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, and orange peel; toss gently until mixed.
  3. Cranberry-Apple Bourekas
  4. Unroll the puff pastry and cut strips about 5cm (2 inches) wide. Place a rounded tablespoon of the cranberry mixture near the bottom edge of the puff pastry.
  5. Cranberry Bourekas
  6. Take the bottom right corner and wrap it over the filling and roll the filling up into a triangle. Repeat with the remaining strips.
  7. Cranberry Bourekas
  8. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the bourekas are golden. The bourekas make leak slightly during baking. Transfer the bourekas to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

 

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Cranberry Bourekas
Servings: 10 to 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup Granny Smith apple peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped candied orange peel
  • 1 package puff pastry
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Line a baking sheet with silicone and set aside. Put the cranberries and water in a small pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, about 3 minutes or until the cranberries pop. Drain them, discarding the liquid and return the cranberries to the pan.
  2. Add the apple, raisins, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, and orange peel; toss gently until mixed.
  3. Cranberry-Apple Bourekas
  4. Unroll the puff pastry and cut strips about 5cm (2 inches) wide. Place a rounded tablespoon of the cranberry mixture near the bottom edge of the puff pastry.
  5. Cranberry Bourekas
  6. Take the bottom right corner and wrap it over the filling and roll the filling up into a triangle. Repeat with the remaining strips.
  7. Cranberry Bourekas
  8. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the bourekas are golden. The bourekas make leak slightly during baking. Transfer the bourekas to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

I wanted to make individual cranberry strudels for dessert, but I didn’t have any phyllo, so I decided to make bourekas instead. Mr BT suggested that I serve them to guests and not tell them what is inside. I would say that I didn’t have time to make dessert and thought we could have a savory dessert instead.

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Cranberry Bourekas
Servings: 10 to 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup Granny Smith apple peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped candied orange peel
  • 1 package puff pastry
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Line a baking sheet with silicone and set aside. Put the cranberries and water in a small pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, about 3 minutes or until the cranberries pop. Drain them, discarding the liquid and return the cranberries to the pan.
  2. Add the apple, raisins, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, and orange peel; toss gently until mixed.
  3. Cranberry-Apple Bourekas
  4. Unroll the puff pastry and cut strips about 5cm (2 inches) wide. Place a rounded tablespoon of the cranberry mixture near the bottom edge of the puff pastry.
  5. Cranberry Bourekas
  6. Take the bottom right corner and wrap it over the filling and roll the filling up into a triangle. Repeat with the remaining strips.
  7. Cranberry Bourekas
  8. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the bourekas are golden. The bourekas make leak slightly during baking. Transfer the bourekas to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

Comfort Food – Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Even though it is December and it should be raining in Israel, winter hasn’t really begun. On Friday, I was out in a short-sleeved shirt planting baby pansies, some unknown flowering purple and white plants, and burgundy and white petunias. I am preparing the “garden” for the winter. I am cutting down the basil and lemongrass. The rest of the herbs, such as thyme and rosemary, should endure the winter weather.

Since it isn’t that cold, I haven’t felt like making the hearty winter soups that I usually make to keep us warm and cozy, but there was a sale on cauliflower and I saw an interesting recipe for cauliflower soup from Thomas Keller’s latest cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home. It is very easy to make and has a slight hint of curry in it. The recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of curry, but I used one teaspoon of hot madras curry and it was still subtle. I also used 10% fat cooking cream instead of heavy cream and it was still luscious and creamy.

After a small bowl of soup, I served baked salmon with a lemon-artichoke pesto on a bed of mashed Jerusalem artichokes and petit pois on the side. The pesto had the perfect amount of acidity from the lemon juice and capers. It was a nice and light addition to the thick soup.

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Salmon with Lemon Artichoke Pesto
Ingredients
  • 4 salmon fillets skinned
  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained well
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  2. Combine the artichokes, lemon juice, garlic, pepper flakes, oil, capers, lemon zest, and pesto in the food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture is still chunky. Stir in the fresh herbs.
  3. Lay a fillet on top of a large square of foil and spread 2 tablespoons of the mixture on top of the salmon , fold up to enclose the fillets, and tightly crimp the edges to seal the pouches. Repeat with the remaining fillets. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

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Salmon with Lemon Artichoke Pesto
Ingredients
  • 4 salmon fillets skinned
  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained well
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  2. Combine the artichokes, lemon juice, garlic, pepper flakes, oil, capers, lemon zest, and pesto in the food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture is still chunky. Stir in the fresh herbs.
  3. Lay a fillet on top of a large square of foil and spread 2 tablespoons of the mixture on top of the salmon , fold up to enclose the fillets, and tightly crimp the edges to seal the pouches. Repeat with the remaining fillets. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
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