Pan Seared Salmon with Corn & Bacon Saute

IMG_3536I finally got back to the Recipe Must Make List that was inspired by Little Miss Mixture back in May.  Fish is one of those things that I tend to order more out than make at home.  I have always enjoyed certain types of fish, but I just never seem to purchase it a lot.  I know that we really should eat it more, at least one to two times a week.  Maybe that should be a food goal of mine for next year.

Anyway we like salmon and when I find sockeye on sale it is hard to resist.  So a couple of weeks ago I bought some salmon.  We had a nice grilled meal that day and I froze the rest.  This week knowing I wanted to use the salmon, I went straight to the must try list.  There was a perfect dish for a weeknight dinner that Little Miss Mixture had added from the April 2014 Cooking Light.

Seared Salmon with Sweet Corn and Bacon Saute was pictured in the magazine and looked good.  Though as I have mentioned in the blog before sometimes I know what catches Little Miss Mixture’s eye and it this is was bacon.  She loves bacon and eat or at least try anything that has bacon in it.  Thus the night she ordered Bacon wrapped Dates for dinner even though she is not a date fan.  She ate them though and enjoyed them.  This recipe as many do uses only a small amount of bacon to provide added flavor.  I recently started purchasing a pack of nitrate free bacon and wrapping two to three pieces up and freezing them for recipes exactly like this.

As you have probably figured out by now if you have read enough post, I never seem to follow recipes exactly.  I try and on occasion I do especially with certain items.  I had all intention of following this recipe aside from substituting fresh corn for frozen because I just cannot see using frozen produce when it is in season.  I am not a big frozen produce person anyway unless I have bought it fresh and frozen it myself as I do with a lot of fruit for our smoothies.  However, as I set out to create our dinner, I realized I unexpectedly had already used the green onions that I purchased for the seared salmon with sweet corn and bacon dish.

What is a girl to do?

There are really two options.  # 1 Throw on some shoes and get everyone in the car to run get the forgotten item or # 2 improvise.  Well in this case since I had the main ingredients on hand I decided to improvise and it turned out perfectly.

Pan Seared Salmon with Corn & Bacon Sauté

Ingredients

  • 3 center – cut bacon slices, chopped
  • 1 Medium shallot, finely chopped
  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced, white parts only, divided
  • ¼ – ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 ears fresh corn, cut from cob
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp, plus freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 center – cut salmon fillets, skinned (6 – ounce)

Directions for Sauté

1. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat 4 minutes or until almost done, stirring occasionally.

2. Add shallot, onion, and 2/3 white parts of green onions; sauté 2 minutes. Add wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

3. Stir in vinegar, corn, bell pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; cook 4 minutes.

4. Make sure you still have some liquid in pan, cover and continue to cook on low while you prepare the fish.

5. Taste and add more pepper if desired.

6. Just before serving mix in remaining white parts of green onion. This adds a little crunch to the dish.

Directions for Salmon

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat.

2. Sprinkle fillets with remaining ¼ – 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

3. Add fillets to pan; cook 4 minutes.

4. Turn and cook 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

Divide corn mixture among 4 plates; top with fillets.

Printable Recipe Pan Seared salmon with bacon and corn sauté

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If you are looking for a sweet treat today, be sure to find some Cheesecake.  Happy National Cheesecake Day!

Check out some of these great cheesecake recipes.

No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Chocolate Cheesecake Bites

Polka Dot Cheesecake 

S’mores Cheesecake 

Cheesecake Ball

 

 

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Pretzel Crusted Chicken

pretzel chickenIMG_3056Pretzel Crusted Chicken is one of those recipes that I pulled from a magazine several years back.  I grew up in the south and though I have come to love many southern things – fried okra, country music, and sweet tea- I have never had a love for fried chicken.  I enjoy chicken tenders and have always been someone who would toss them into a salad, or order the salad that has them atop rather than grilled chicken for a change, but fried chicken and I are not a perfect match.  I have had some great fried chicken, but there is just no love affair there.

However in the early days of making meals for Little Miss Mixture, I never thought to serve kid food, but obviously some flavors and recipes may be better accepted than others.  The recipe I adapted this from caught my eye.  It first appeared in a Food and Wine magazine.  I was not looking for a recipe for Little Miss Mixture, but I figured the combination of flavors might be fun.  It was a hit from the beginning and has become one of her favorites.  In fact this was what she requested for her “out of school celebration meal.”

Pretzel Crusted Chicken

1/2 pound pretzels

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup whole-grain mustard

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3-4 skinless, boneless chicken breast, pounded to 1/4 -1/3″ thick (tenders could be substituted)

1.Preheat the oven to 400°.

2. In a food processor, pulse the pretzels until coarsely ground; you should have coarse chunks and fine crumbs. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl.

3. Wipe out the food processor. Add the oil, whole-grain and Dijon mustards, water and vinegar and process until smooth. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

4. Pour half of the dressing into a large shallow bowl, add the chicken breasts and turn to coat. Dredge the chicken in the pretzel crumbs and transfer to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.

5. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve the chicken and provide the remaining mustard dressing on the side as desired.

Printer Friendly Version Pretzel Crusted Chicken

* this recipe was adapted from Mustard-Baked Chicken with Pretzel Crust.

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*top photo courtesy of therootcellarsgarden.com

Ceasar Salad

IMG_2816Ceasar salad is a classic salad.  I am not sure when I had my first caesar salad, but I have always enjoyed them though I do not eat them often.  However in the past year, I have been on what I would consider a caesar salad kick.  In fact I have probably had more caesar salads in the past year than the previous five years.

I am not sure what started my indulgence in caesar salad, but while in Boston last summer we had a lovely dinner in the north end.  Known for their italian food I had my eye on a gnocchi dish as I heard the restaurant made it from scratch and I would not be disappointed.  That was true, but I wanted some green, not that a caesar salad is high in nutrition, but it caught my eye on the menu.  Well the salad arrived and like the rest of the meal the portion was too much and Little Miss Mixture asked to try.

Cringe! Boo Hiss bad mom, whatever I am not one of those people who is squeamish or freaks out over my child having raw egg or raw fish.  I prefer to encourage her desire to taste new foods.  Besides I am the mom who has allowed her to have raw cookie dough and guess what everyone we are both fine.

Anyway the salad was very tasty and Little Miss Mixture enjoyed it so much that she has subsequently ordered them for herself when eating out.  Fast forward a few months and Mr. Mixture and I went to a restaurant in Mexico that was known for their table side Caesar Salad.  The shocker here was Mr. Mixture ate the salad as I am not sure he had ever previously had one.  So, back home Little Miss Mixture asks if I could make a caesar salad.  The concept of the salad is simple, but it had never occurred to me to make one at home.  This is one of those salads that has always been a treat I saved for eating out.  Well not anymore I tried and I conquered.

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Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken

What you need for the salad:

Chicken Breast

Romaine Lettuce

Parmesan Cheese

Croutons*

Caesar Dressing

Marinade Boneless Skinless Chicken breast in olive oil, fresh ground pepper, and garlic.  Grill just before ready to serve salad.  Romaine lettuce can be served in large slices or torn based on your preference.  To assemble salad toss lettuce and croutons in a bowl and mix with Caesar Salad Dressing.  It is best if you use your hands to gently mix so the dressing can attach to the lettuce and croutons to optimize the flavor.  Chicken can be cut and tossed as well or sliced and placed atop the salad.  Once salad is assembled top with some fresh pepper and shaved parmesan and enjoy.

* I think freshly made croutons help to make this salad taste fresh.  Croutons are simple and easy and can be made up to 3 days ahead.  See recipe below.

Recipe for Caesar Dressing

Ingredients

1 tsp Anchovy paste
1 Small garlic clove
Pinch of Kosher Salt
2 Large Egg Yolks
2 1/4 Tbsp Lemon Juice, using fresh 2 tbsp
3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 Cup Vegetable oil
3 1/2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
grinds of Black Pepper

Directions
Mix together garlic clove, kosher salt and anchovy paste into a paste consistency, being sure to mince and mash the garlic.
Whisk egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard and mix with paste
Gradually add olive oil then Vegetable oil until dressing is thick and glossy
Whisk in Parmesan cheese and season with pepper to taste
Can be made 1 day ahead

Printable Recipe Caesar Salad Dressing

Homemade Croutons

Day old bread, if available ( I used fresh sourdough bread from a local baker and the croutons turned out perfect)

olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut or tear bread into cubes about 1-2 inches in size.  Toss bread in olive oil until lightly coated.  Spread on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes.  You can season with salt, pepper, or herbs of choice if you want a particular flavor.  For the caesar salad I simply used olive oil knowing the dressing would be the prominent flavor.

Printable Recipe Homemade Croutons

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