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Steamed Salmon Mirepoix


I really like crispy skin salmon but not as much as like steamed salmon. Something about the steam brings out the omega-3's and it not only is delicious but feels so good to eat. You say, "but there is a lot of butter in this recipe" and I say, "yes, but I consider butter to be brain food." More importantly I think salmon and chervil are great together and then add the classic French mirepoix and, wow, something simple becomes so, so, so good. The mirepoix is so important to cooking but so often it is used as seasoning and not a side dish. Trust me it goes great with salmon. FYI, the mirepoix is always 50 percent onion family, 25 percent carrot and 25 percent celery. The other thing I like about this dish is a delicious sauce is created right in the steamer plate.

Serves 4

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks, whites only, rinsed and 1/4 inch dice, or onions
3 carrots, peeled and 1/4 inch dice
4 celery stalks, rinsed trimmed and 1/4 inch dice
2 tablespoons chervil, minced
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
dry white wine
4 pieces 6 oz. salmon filets, skinless, the thinner the piece the better for roulades
kosher salt and fresh ground white pepper

Season the salmon filets with salt and white pepper. Remember saltwater fish can always take more salt than any other protein. It seems weird seeing how it comes from the ocean but trust me salt it liberally. Liberally doesn't mean go crazy just make sure you really salt it.

Take a hint from the Japanese and let it sit for 20 minutes to absorb the salt. Meanwhile set up your steamer. I use a bamboo steamer in a wok but use what you have. An upside down glass pan lid in a pot with another lid works too.

In a saute pan over medium heat melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the leeks, carrots and celery and season them with salt and white pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cover. You do not want the mirepoix to color. Sweat until tender but not mushy.

While the mirepoix is sweating, combine the chervil and remaining five tablespoons of butter in a small mixing bowl and mix to combine. Divide the butter evenly and spread the butter over the filets. Roll the filets into a roulade and tie snuggly with kitchen twine.

Place the filets onto a heat proof deep plate and sprinkle with white wine until you have a little pool of wine on the plate. About a 1/3 of a cup.

Place the plate into the steamer and set a timer for 12 minutes. Remove from the steamer being careful not to spill the plate juices.

Plate with the mirepoix, then the salmon and pour the plate juices evenly across the top of the salmon and serve.
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Rosemary Cream


This is not a fancy cake. It’s not tricky to make, nor does it come laden with some kind of extravagant buttercream icing (though I do serve mine with a good dollop of rosemary whipped cream on the side). Rather, it’s simple and sophisticated—rich, dark, and, most importantly of all, irresistible to any guest at my table. It is the kind of cake that you can prepare ahead of time and, better still, it’s the kind of cake that improves with age. Rather like a good bottle of wine, its flavors develop and the crumb becomes denser and richer and all the more irresistible with the passing of time.

Serves 8 to 10

For the cake:

200 grams good-quality dark chocolate
200 grams butter
4 eggs
200 grams caster (superfine) sugar, divided
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Grease and line an 8-inch (20-centimeter) cake pan, and preheat the oven to 285° F (140° C).
Roughly chop the chocolate and the butter and throw them together in a heavy-based pan; then, set it over a very low heat to melt, stirring occasionally to prevent the chocolate from burning. When the chocolate and butter have melted completely, take the pan off the heat and leave to cool a little.
Separate the eggs. Pour the whites into a clean bowl, add half the sugar, and beat vigorously, until soft peaks begin to form. Pour the yolks and the rest of the sugar into a second bowl and beat until the mixture is smooth and pale.
Gently fold the yolks into the whites, then slowly fold in the melted chocolate.
Pour the batter into the pan and set the cake in the middle of the oven.
Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, until the top of the cake feels firm to touch if you press on it gently. Leave the cake to cool in its baking pan. Do not try to take the cake out of its pan before it has completely cooled or it will collapse.
When the cake reaches room temperature, store it in the fridge. Just before serving, turn the cake out of its pan and dust lightly with confectioners' sugar.
This cake will keep for 3 to 4 days in the fridge—if anything, the flavors actually improve if you can leave it to rest for a day or two.

For the whipped cream:

300 milliliters heavy cream
2 sprigs rosemary
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Add the cream and the rosemary sprigs to a small saucepan and set over medium heat.

The moment the cream begins to simmer, take the pan off the heat and pour the contents into a small bowl. Leave to steep for half an hour, then strain the cream and chill in the fridge.

Before serving, add the sugar and the cream to a bowl of a stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment and whip until stiff peaks begin to form. Serve slices of cake with dollops of whipped cream.

Cuban Meatloaf


This is named after the sandwich not the cuisine. I love Cuban food and I have my time in New York City to thank for that. I had no idea how good Cuban food was until then. I had no clue that this sandwich even existed until I walked into a Cuban deli and got my first taste of the ultimate ham and cheese, and then I made this meatloaf or I should say hamloaf. If you like ham and cheese you will find yourself craving this meal. I serve it with Cuban Black Beans and Fried Plantains but it is equally at home with mac' n' cheese and stewed green beans, for that matter tomato soup. I make this in a pie pan for a reason. It is the topping to meat ratio. The flatter the meatloaf the more topping, and the topping is as important as the meatloaf, or at least to my mind it is.

Serves 6-8

1 1/2 pounds ground pork
1 pound ham, 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and 1/4 inch dice
1 cup comte, gruyere or emmanthaler cheese, grated
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
.
1/2 cup comte grated
1 tablespoon unslted butter, melted
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
3 tablespoons Yellow mustard, not Dijon, maybe Nathans hot dog mustard
kosher salt and pepper

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the breadcrumbs, milk and egg into a mixing bowl and mix to combine. Once the bread crumbs have absorbed liquid add the ham, pork, cucumber and 1 cup of comte cheese. Season with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Mix with your hands, paddle attachment of a mixer or a spatula but mix it well. In another bowl combine the 1/2 cup of comte, 1/2 cup of bread crumbs and the melted butter and mix. Season it with salt and pepper. Grease a 10 inch round and 2 inch deep pie plate. Place the ground meat mixture into the pie plat and flatten it to fit. Using a spatula spread the 3 tablespoons of mustard evenly across the meatloaf and then spread the bread crumbs evenly across the top too. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes and them check to see that it is done. If not cook a 15 more minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve.

Herb-Crusted Pork Chops with Balsamic Onions


Author Notes: I love that I can turn to my tiny pots of herbs whenever I'm not sure what to make. This idea came from an empty pantry, using just what I had on hand and ended up being wonderfully satisfying.

WHO: apartmentcooker is a culinary school grad and blogger.
WHAT: A perfect weeknight dinner.
HOW: Bread your pork chops DR Max electronic English, fry them up, sauté some onions, and put them on top. Devour.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This recipe comes together in minutes -- and, once you have your chops and herbs, straight from the pantry -- and feels wonderfully elegant. It's got crunch and salt and porkiness and tartness: everything we want at the end of the day.

Serves 4

Herb Crusted Pork Chops

1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup panko
2 tablespoons thyme, finely chopped
2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sage, finely chopped
2 teaspoons basil, finely chopped
4 pork chops
salt and pepper, as needed
olive oil, as needed for pan-frying

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare a breading station by placing the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in three separate bowls. Season the bread crumbs with the fresh herbs DR Max electronic English.
Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Dip each pork chop into the flour. Shake to remove excess. Then dip into the egg, and then generously coat with bread crumbs. Set aside.
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. When the oil is very hot, place the pork chops in and pan fry until golden brown on each side (about 2-3 minutes each side). Transfer the pork chops to a cookie sheet.
Place the pork chops in the oven and bake until cooked through (another 5-6 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to rest briefly. Serve with balsamic onions.

Balsamic Onions

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, very thinly sliced
salt and pepper, as needed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent DR Max electronic English.
Season salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the onions begin to caramelize. Add the balsamic vinegar and continue to cook until the onions are completely caramelized and very soft. Serve on top of the finished pork chops.

Farro, Kale, and Strawberry Salad with Bacon and Chili-Dusted Pepitas


Author Notes: This salad piles on flavors and textures for a dinner-worthy creation that's wonderful as a side or all on its own.

 Serves 4

1 small shallot, minced
Zest of 1 lemon plus 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt, to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry farro
1/2 pound bacon
1/4 cup raw, hulled pepitas
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 bunch lacinato kale, sliced into thin ribbons
1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved
Black pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, combine the minced shallot dermes, lemon zest and juice, and sea salt. Whisk in olive oil to emulsify.
Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add a generous amount of sea salt and the farro. Boil for 20 minutes, or until farro is cooked to al dente. Drain, set in a bowl, and toss with half the dressing.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Set bacon strips on a paper towel-lined plate. Chop when cool enough to handle.
Pour off all but 1 teaspoon bacon grease and toss in pepitas. Cook over medium heat, shaking skillet gently, until the first few pepitas start to pop elyze. Remove from heat, toss with a big pinch sea salt and the chili powder, and set aside.
Set kale in a medium bowl and toss with remaining dressing and a pinch of sea salt.
To serve, layer dressed farro and kale in a clean bowl. Top with chopped bacon, toasted pepitas, and strawberries. Finish with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately. (Though it's especially delicious warm, this salad will keep well in the fridge for a day or two. Because salt can leech the sweetness reenex, consider adding the strawberries just before serving.)

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