Monthly Archives: March 2015

Crabmeat-Stuffed Flounder Roulades

Recipe from Emeril Lagasse of Food Network~

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Flounder fillets chock-full of lump crabmeat—delicioso! Luckily we had some leftovers which made for a nice lunch the next day.

OUR NOTES: We used Panko bread crumbs instead of Ritz crackers. Our cooking time was almost double, perhaps in part to the fact that the roulades were packed tightly together in the casserole dish, so try to leave a bit of air space between them.

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery
  • 2 tablespoons minced green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon Emeril’s Hot Sauce or other red hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup crushed butter crackers (recommended: Ritz)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (6 to 8-ounce) flounder fillets, skinless, pin bones removed
  • 2 lemons, 1 cut into thin slices and 1 cut into wedges for serving
  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, for drizzling over the fish

Directions

  1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using 1/2 tablespoon of the butter, grease a shallow baking dish and set aside.
  2. Place the crabmeat in a large bowl and season with 1 teaspoon of the Essence. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. In a medium skillet, melt the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the parsley and the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. Add the cooled vegetables to the crabmeat and toss gently to combine. Add the mayonnaise, beaten egg, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce and stir gently with a large wooden spoon. Add 1/2 cup of the cracker crumbs, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper, and stir gently, being careful not to break up the crabmeat.
  5. Season each fish fillet with 1/2 teaspoon of Essence and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and place the fillets skin side up on a work surface. Divide the crabmeat filling evenly among the centers of the fish fillets and, using your hands, roll the fillets up to encase the filling. Secure with a toothpick, if necessary.
  6. Place the fillets, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish and top with slices of lemon. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of the cracker crumbs evenly over the tops of the fillets. Drizzle with the melted butter. Using oven mitts or pot holders, place the baking dish in the oven and bake until lightly golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  7. Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the baking dish from the oven and serve the fish using a metal spatula. Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of parsley and serve with additional lemon wedges, if desired.

Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

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Honey-Chipotle Glazed Flank Steak

When you’re craving a little barbecue flavor in Winter (OK, so it’s technically Spring already, but it doesn’t feel like it yet), this recipe does the trick. And that’s what we were hankering for, so this recipe by Juli Roberts from Fine Cooking fit the bill with a nice flavor punch — Delicioso!

sliced.steak

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 1 lb. flank steak

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glaze

Directions

  1. Position an oven rack 6 inches below the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Combine 1 tsp. of the oil, the garlic, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-low heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Add the chipotle and honey and stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice and zest.
  3. Rub the flank steak with the remaining 1 tsp. oil and season generously with salt. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and broil, turning once, until slightly browned and cooked to your liking, about 3 minutes per side for medium rare.
  4. Spread the glaze over the top of the steak and broil until it begins to bubble and darken in places, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve.

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roasted.sprouts

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While Fine Cooking suggests you pair it with mashed sweet potatoes, we made a side of roasted brussels sprouts with garlic and pancetta, and baked onion rings.

A Bite Out of the Big Apple

Every couple of years about a half dozen (give or take) long-time friends/cousins have a brief out-of-town get away for a night or two. This year six of us ushered in the first day of Spring in New York City. One often thinks of balmy days when talking Spring, however Mother Nature threw one last curve ball to those in the Northeast this year. While driving in with Carolyn Evans and Maureen Evans Kelly, sleet and snow were coming at us from every which way.

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Maureen Evans Kelly and Eileen Sullivan yakking it up sitting on the window ledge of our 17th floor apartment at the Manhattan Club.

And despite the fact that I was also trying to overcome a cold, nothing was going to dampen our enthusiasm. We scored two, side-by-side “mini-apartments” (compliments of Carolyn) on the 17th floor of the Manhattan Club situated very conveniently on 56th St. between 7th and 8th Avenues. Earlier in the day, Margaret Manero and Marie Collinson trekked into the city via the train from Maplewood; and after working her job in Bayonne, Eileen Sullivan drove in to round off the posse.

We had some time to kill before our dinner reservations at TAO, a short taxi ride away, so out came bottles of wine, Blue Moon beer and cheese, crackers and meats to munch on. Eileen even presented a magnum bottle of Dom Pérignon (although for the life of me, I’m not sure why it never got opened that evening!) What a blast we had catching up with one another and taking selfies.

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But since this is a food blog, I guess I should get down to the business of writing about our dinner.

Originally a 19th century stable for the Vanderbilt family and then a balconied movie theater, TAO New York was transformed into a majestic Asian “temple.”

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The Tao focal point is a towering 16-foot tall Buddha that floats above a virtual reflecting pool complete with Japanese carp. In addition to the Buddha, there’s plenty of bamboo, silk upholstery and backlit screens. Chinese, Japanese, and Thai artifacts are skillfully placed throughout the 300-seat space with dining on three levels; including the prized Skybox which offers views of the entire restaurant from its two-story, 35-foot high perch. We were seated on the second level and had an uninterrupted view of pretty much the entire venue, which is a social swirl that spreads out over two large floors; however the noise is deafening, and we found it a bit hard to converse.

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Once seated, and at the waitress’ suggestion, we anointed her to select a variety of appetizers and small plates for starters. First up was a large basket of edamame with sea salt, one of my faves (although a few in the group were not too impressed—YET.) Then in efficient fashion we received Lobster Wontons with Shiitake Ginger Broth; Satay of Chilean Sea Bass with Wok Roasted Asparagus; Pan Fried Chicken Gyoza with Napa Cabbage and Soy Dipping Sauce; Avocado and Sweet Potato Tempura; and a superb platter of sliced Short Ribs that melted in the mouth!

Starter Plates:

dumplings.mushrooms 8.edamame 7.dumplings.lobster 2.shortribs.app 6.dumplings.chicken 5.avocado.tempura

sea.bass.satay

Truth be told I could have stopped there and been totally satisfied. Two confessed non-fish eaters in the group were stunned over how they loved the satays of Chilean sea bass. In between all of the food we also enjoyed some signature cocktails, so much so that Maureen ended up with a “smiley face” in her specialty drink.

smiley'face.drink

Among the entrees ordered were Crispy Orange Chicken; Roasted Thai Buddha Chicken; Wok Seared New York Sirloin with Shiitake Mushrooms and Szechwan Potatoes; Omakase Chef’s Choice Sashimi; Trio of Salmon, Tuna, and Yellowtail Sashimi with Wasabi Salsa (and another dish which I have forgotten.) Everything arrived so artfully plated on an array of interesting asian-inspired vessels. Finally, a couple of desserts were ordered for those who wanted to share. I’m guessing here, but I think they were Crispy Fuji Apple Blossoms (Tahitian Vanilla Bean Ice Cream) and an additional scoop of some sort of ice cream.

Entrees:

wok.seared.beef thai.chicken special.roll sushi 4.ahi.tunatuna.sushi.roll

dessert

Most of the gang hoofed it back to the rooms, but both Carolyn and I were nursing colds and didn’t want to compromise our “delicate” health in the bad weather, so we hailed a cab. With dinner reservations at 6:30, we were back in the rooms early which gave us plenty of time to continue our gab-fest and talk about our possible adventures in the City for the following morning…

After breakfast at a nearby diner, we walked in Central Park past Trump Tower and stopped in West Elm where many in the group purchased some homemade brownies and breads. The stroll continued past Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. And for the fashion-focused we window shopped along 5th Ave. at Cartiers, Harry Winston’s, Dolce & Gabbana, Gianni Versace, Gucci, Fendi…. you get the idea.

ceiling.sculpture central.park.statues rockefeller.center st.pattys.cathedral

While all good things must come to an end, we parted ways mid-afternoon but not before promising to get together again before too long. Thanks ladies for a fun-filled weekend, one I’m sure to never forget!

PS—At one stop in IT’SUGAR Candy Store, home of the world’s largest supersized candy, fun gifts and novelty items, I was attracted to a key lime assortment of gifts. And knowing my hubby’s affection for anything key lime, I bought him a couple of souvenirs which he plans to bust open soon…

key.lime.gifts1

When in Maryland…

Our first night in Washington DC, the concierge at the Mandarin Oriental tried to get us reservations at the Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington’s oldest saloon founded in 1856. Even with all his connections, they were booked that Sunday night until at least midnight! So we asked Clyde to do his magic and see if he could get us in the next night—on Monday, which he did—and even then, we had a bit of a wait for our 8:00 reservation.

ebbitts.facade

The Victorian interior evokes Washington saloons at the turn of the century so while waiting for our table, we enjoyed a drink at the bar and studied the amassed priceless collection of antiques and memorabilia, acquired beer steins, and animal heads (reputedly bagged by Teddy Roosevelt). Carved glass panels separate the Old Bar from the Main Dining Room which depict the Treasury, the Capitol, and the White House. The antique clock over the revolving door at the entrance is an heirloom from the previous location, and the marble staircase with an iron-spindled rail was salvaged from the old National Metropolitan Bank next door.

ebbitts.bar

Now about their menu. They buy their produce from local farms, and spring through fall use only fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables, sourcing much of their meat, poultry and seafood direct from its native region. And of course being in Maryland, we just had to have seafood, specifically crab. But for starters, Russ chose the Oyster Stew with fried Blue Point oysters, light cream broth, Old Bay, celery and parsley, which he savored down to the last drop! In the mood for a good salad, I had the Local Apple Salad comprised of shaved kale, radicchio, frisée, Gorgonzola, cranberries, candied walnuts dressed in an apple cider vinaigrette—absolutely delicious.

ebbitts.fried.oyster.stew

ebbitts.salad

It’s unusual for us to both order the  same entree, but the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with Old Bay Yukon gold potatoes, tart apple-beet-celeriac slaw, and remoulade sauce were calling both of our names that night. You can order one or two cakes, but noticing the size on other patron’s plates, and the fact that we couldn’t take a doggie bag to-go, we each ordered one a piece—which was plenty after our starters and the really good bread brought to the table as soon as we sat down.

ebbitt's.crabcake

We highly recommend this historical landmark if you’re ever in the DC area for a visit. And if crab cakes aren’t your thing, the menu boasts numerous other choices including pastas, meatloaf, chops, steaks, duck breast, salmon, trout and fish and chips to name a few. Hope you get a chance to experience it!

Kalettes (what the!?)

kalettes.in.bag

Kalettes are the product of 15 years of hard work and dedication (using traditional breeding techniques) from the British vegetable seed house Tozer Seeds. They are a non-GMO vegetable developed through traditional hybridization and not genetic modification. It’s been since 1995 that the last successful hybrid, Broccolini, was introduced. Find out more under the Bits N Pieces tab…

“The Little One”

Good friends Paula and Mike Graham made reservations for the four of us at El Poquito, a Mexican cantina, located in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. Recently opened by George Atterbury (protégé of famed Iron Chef José Garces (JG), it is named after iconic café racer motorcycles that raced up the coast of Mexico and into Baja California in the 1970’s. Atterbury hired former JG Domestic chef de cuisine, Andrew Sabin as his executive chef.

el.poquito.building

As José Garces is one of our favorite chefs, we were excited about the possibilities this new restaurant had to offer with their delectably unique varieties of Mexican cuisine which boasts a full bar with solid beer selections, plus a varied list of tequilas, mezcals, margaritas and creative cocktails; and an easy-priced menu of tacos, enchiladas and ceviches.

bike.on.wall

Less than 15 minutes from Mike and Paula’s house, we made it in perfect time to be seated for our 7:00 reservations. Walking back to our booth, I noticed the namesake racer motorcycles hanging on the walls (unfortunately my photo is blurry) and the awesome, wood-paneled soaring ceilings impressively lit with numerous twinkling glass pendants.

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Paula and Mike Graham

russ.lynn
Russ and yours truly

camarones
Camarones Ceviche appetizer

As for those aforementioned libations, Russ and Mike both slowly enjoyed a “hip” Mezcal Negroni: mezcal, campari, sweet vermouth (barrel-aged when available, and it was that night) with a twist of lemon; while Paula relished a Margarita, and I sipped a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. As an appetizer Russ and I shared a Camarones Ceviche: shrimp, spicy tomato, orange, avocado, and corn nuts.

Vintage cocktail negroni is emerging as the drink of the moment—now a super-modish choice in hipster pubs and enthusiastic cocktail bars, where whole negroni menus are emerging, with some people prefering less Campari and a touch more of mellowing vermouth.

Not an extensive dinner menu, it’s easy to zero in on a selection—and everything is a la carte, even the sides. The following pictures pretty much tell the story:

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Mike
TACOS DE CARNITAS: crispy pork, spicy black beans, onion, lime and cilantro

tacos.baja
Paula
TACOS DE BAJA: crispy cod, cabbage, green apple, avocado, spicy lime aioli

enchilada.costillas
Russ
ENCHILADAS DE COSTILLAS: short rib, queso oaxaca, roasted onion, mole poblano

enchilada.pollo
Lynn
ENCHILADAS DE POLLO: chicken, guajillo chile sauce, queso fresco, pickled onion

Russ exclaimed “These were quite possibly the best enchiladas I’ve ever eaten!” After our fabulous meal, walking to the parking lot, we encountered a vibrant little park area (which seems to be part of the Chestnut Hill Hotel compound) with colorful fountains, interesting statues and quirky seating, so of course I had to photograph us playing around.

multifountains

purple.fountain

russ.lynn.chairs

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In season, a landscaped patio with outdoor fire pits will add a new dimension to this Germantown Avenue landmark. The accommodating and knowledgeable servers, the hip venue, and the distinctive menu make this thriving new restaurant well worth another visit— hopefully in warmer weather.

BTW, the literal translation for El Poquito is “The Little One” or “The Underdog.”

Chicken Roulades and Braised Winter Greens

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For this French classic, Gruyère and spinach are rolled up in chicken and cooked until it becomes lusciously melted, while a simple chicken broth reduction pulls it all together. I came across it as I was looking for a different weeknight, boneless, skinless, chicken recipe and found it on Delish.com — apparently triple-tested at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute… So, la-dee-da!

Instead of purchasing the more expensive chicken cutlets, I chose boneless, skinless breasts, slit them down the middle vertically, and then pounded them thin. Voila, chicken cutlets at almost half the price!

As sides we made some Braised Winter Greens—in this case kale—found on CooksIllustrated.com, and a Mushroom and Herb Risotto from Trader Joe’s, one of our all-time favorite places to shop.

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Assembling the roulade with spinach and cheese mixture.

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Browning rolled roulades in skillet.

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Complete meal of chicken roulades, herbed mushroom risotto and braised kale.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) Gruyère cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 1 clove (small) garlic, crushed with press
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 8 (about 3 ounces each) thin-sliced chicken cutlets
  • 1 box (9- to 10-ounce) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel

Directions

  1. In small bowl, combine Gruyère, mayonnaise, garlic, 1 teaspoon mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. On each piece chicken, spread 1 heaping tablespoon spinach up to 3/4 inch from edges. Place 2 teaspoons cheese mixture on spinach at one short end, in a strip, 1 inch from edges. Roll up, starting at end with cheese. Secure with toothpicks to enclose filling.
  3. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet on medium-high; add chicken. Cook 5 to 8 minutes or until browned, turning occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; add 1 tablespoon water. Cover; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (165 degrees F), turning over once. Transfer to plate and cover with foil.
  4. Into same skillet on medium-high, stir chicken broth, lemon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 4 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Stir in lemon peel.
  5. Remove toothpicks from chicken and slice. Serve with sauce and roasted potatoes.

Now for our side dish recipe:

BRAISED WINTER GREENS

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 5 teaspoons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds kale or collard greens, ribs removed, leaves chopped into 3-inch pieces and rinsed (about 24 loosely packed cups)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Table salt
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
  • Ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add half of greens and stir until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Add remaining greens, broth, water, and ¼ teaspoon salt; quickly cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 25 to 35 minutes for kale and 35 to 45 minutes for collards.
  2. Remove lid and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated (bottom of pot will be almost dry and greens will begin to sizzle), 8 to 12 minutes. (NOTE: Ours actually took 25 minutes more for the liquid to almost evaporate. So the next time I may decrease the amount of broth from 3 cups down to 2 1/2 cups.)
  3. Remove pot from heat; stir in 2 teaspoons lemon juice and remaining tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and remaining teaspoon lemon juice. Serve.

Returning to the Fold…

…Or more precisely, the land of the other white meat: PORK. For many years I didn’t eat any pork products. No particular reason that I can remember, just didn’t do it for over a decade or so. Then one fine pig roast up in the Poconos at the White Water Rafting company annual picnic, my ex-husband (who was the official “Pig Master”) persuaded me to try the cheek meat, and after one tender, juicy, perfectly-seasoned mouthful, I was hooked!

300.lb.pig
A picture of a 300 lb. pig being prepared for the annual pig roast back in the mid-80’s.

While not planning to do a pig roast anytime in the near future, this Sautéed Pork Chops Normandy Style recipe comes from The Complete Meat Cookbook by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly. It describes a master recipe where the secret to successfully cooking center-cut pork chops is not to overcook them. For best results and flavor, the internal temperature of these chops should reach 150° F but go no higher than 155°, retaining a faint pink tinge. (Ignore all cookbooks that tell you to cook pork to 18o° F.)

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The seared chops without the sauce.

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Reducing the pan sauce with apple, onion and cider.

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The chops smothered in pan sauce.

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Plated meal with pork chop and sautéed cabbage.

The meat is aromatically enhanced with a pan sauce made up of onions, apples, apple cider, brandy and dijon mustard… tasty indeed. Now what to have with those pork chops??

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Poor cabbage. Alternately viewed as a pauper’s vegetable or a dieter’s frenemy, cabbage is still considered boring and bland at best and mushy and smelly at worst. Here, it’s reputation is restored by highlighting its mild sweetness and maintaining a crisp-tender texture.

To turn the cabbage into a bona fide side dish, onions are added for depth, while parsley and lemon add vibrancy. A precooking step of soaking the cabbage reduces bitterness while providing extra moisture to help the cabbage steam. As simple as it is to make, we were pleasantly surprised how very good it was!

Sautéed Cabbage with Lemon and Parsley
By Sandra Wu from Cooks Illustrated

Ingredients

  • 1 small head green cabbage (1 1/4 pounds), cored and sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Directions

  1. Place cabbage in large bowl and cover with cold water; let stand for 3 minutes. Drain well and set aside. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer onion to bowl.
  2. Return now-empty skillet to medium-high heat, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and heat until shimmering. Add cabbage and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and cook, without stirring, until cabbage is wilted and lightly browned on bottom, about 3 minutesStir and continue to cook, uncovered, until cabbage is crisp-tender and lightly browned in places, about 4 minutes longer, stirring once halfway through cooking. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in onion, parsley, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste, transfer to serving bowl, and serve.

Vietnamese Caramel Salmon

~by Ivy Manning from Fine Cooking~

The side carrot slaw was surprisingly tasty with only three ingredients and paired well with the salmon. To round off the meal, we combined two kinds of leftover risotto. Perfect meal when you don’t have a lot of time to cook.

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Dark caramel is so commonly used in Vietnamese kitchens that it’s often made in batches and kept by the stove. While it adds a hint of sweetness, it’s prized more for its savory, toasty notes. On salmon, it’s incredible, especially when paired with a tangy carrot slaw to balance the flavors.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice; more to taste
  • 1 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated or julienned (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 lb. skinless salmon fillet, preferably wild, pin bones removed, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces

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Swirling the sugar to create the “caramel.”

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Simmering the cubed salmon with the caramel sauce.

Directions

  1. Heat the sugar in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook, tilting the pan occasionally to help the sugar melt evenly, until dark amber (like maple syrup), about 3 minutes. (If your pan is dark, test the color by dribbling some on a white plate.) Remove from the heat and carefully add 1/4 cup water; it will steam and bubble.
  2. Put the skillet over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add 1 Tbs. of the lime juice and the fish sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook until thick enough for a spoon to leave a trail in the skillet, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, cilantro, and the remaining 2 Tbs. lime juice. Season to taste with more lime juice and salt.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok or 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the caramel sauce and 3/4 tsp. pepper and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add the fish and toss gently to coat. Distribute the fish in a single layer and simmer vigorously, stirring once, until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with the carrots.