Dijon-Herb Crusted Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce

I love salmon.  I find myself ordering it when we’re out and about but I rarely cook it at home.  I decided this week that this needed to change.  Not only is salmon delicious but it’s incredibly healthy and full of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Big Guy has been traveling this week for work so on Monday night I had a solo dinner date with the most delicious dijon-herb crusted salmon with a creamy dill sauce.  This recipe came together fast and had so much flavor.

The salmon is seasoned with salt and pepper before being baked for 10 minutes.  While the salmon is baking, prepare the dijon-herb crust.  The panko topping includes crunchy panko (I used gluten-free breadcrumbs), fresh herbs (I used thyme and basil), EVOO and dijon mustard.  I also prepped the dill sauce while the salmon was baking.  Simply mix together 2% Greek yogurt, fresh dill, a little milk and a splash of red wine vinegar.

When the salmon is done cooking, evenly divide the panko mixture on top of each piece and press gently to adhere.  Broil for about 1 minute.

Serve the salmon with a dollop of the creamy dill sauce.

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On the side I enjoyed some roasted tomatoes that I threw on the baking sheet with the salmon and added a little EVOO, salt and pepper plus herbs.

I absolutely adored the crunchy herb topping and you must make the dill sauce that gives the dinner a lot of freshness and creaminess.

Salmon for the win.

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Salmon with Sriracha Sauce and Lime {plus coconut, ginger and lime kale}

At any given time, there’s usually a cookbook that’s on my radar that I want to add to my collection.  As easy as it is to print recipes from the internet these days, there’s just something fun about having a new cookbook.

My current “want” – It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow.  I stumbled upon her new cookbook in my Self magazine month ago.  Her go-to salmon recipe was featured in the magazine and I immediately tore it out.   Knowing that Big Guy isn’t a salmon-lover, I wasn’t sure when I’d get around to trying the recipe.  But I knew I would.

And I finally did.

On Friday night Big Guy had steak and I had this incredibly easy and delicious salmon.

Lime juice and zest, sriracha, maple syrup and salt at smothered on the salmon and then baked to perfection.

I loved the subtle spiciness from the sriracha that was brightened by the lime juice and zest.  And maple adds the perfect amount of sweetness to flavor of salmon that I adore.

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(ignore the horribly lighting – winter does nothing for my photography “skills”)

On the side for us both, Wilted Kale with Coconut, Ginger and Lime.  The greens I used was a mix of kale, spinach and chard.

Simple ingredients never tasted so delicious.

It’s All Good.

A Perfect Salad

What a perfect weekend!  Date night on Friday followed by a pool day with the girls and a deliciously relaxing night in full of girl-talk and movies.

This is a prime example of why salads are one of my favorite things in life.  At work, I’m constantly asked “Do you eat a salad every day?”  Yes, most days.  And then they proceed to say, “Well, if my salads looked like that I’d eat salads every day.”  I hate to think what their salads look like.  Salads should be piled high with lettuce, spinach and veggies.  And if you don’t have greens, it’s okay – salads can be lettuce-less.  Then you need to add cheese (goat and feta are two favorites) and perhaps some beans (any bean will work).  I’ve also been known to add a dollop of hummus to my salads.

On Saturday night, I was in charge of the salad (appetizer will be shared tomorrow!).  Salmon was the protein of choice.  Simply salt, pepper and sprinkle with garlic powder.  Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.  Exactly 12 minutes.  Also on the salad was creamy avocado, blueberry goat cheese (one of my favorite TJ items), spicy-sweet pecans for crunch (another TJ must-find), tomatoes bursting with flavor and a cilantro dressing that’s to-die-for (also from TJs).  Drool.worthy.  Hands-down one of my best salads, though my salads don’t disappoint.

I even made a non-salmon lover love salmon.

What do you like on your salads?

Horray! It’s Spring!

I don’t know what it is, but I’m in the best mood ever this week.  Perhaps it’s because Spring is HERE.

I’ll take sneezing to snow any day of the week.  I’m already looking forward to a glass of wine with Big Guy on the deck Friday evening.

On Sunday we said “Farewell” to the weekend with a delicious dinner – his and her protein plus ZESTY! asparagus.  Big Guy had a filet and I opted for buttery salmon.  Buttery as in, it cuts like butter – no butter in the recipe.

The salmon was simple – sprinkle of tropical sea salt (TJs), a smidge of brown sugar and a smear of Sweet ‘n Hot Mustard (also a TJs find).  Sprinkle, smidge and smear.  The end result was fantastic.

For the Zesty Asparagus, simple roast the asparagus (I cut ours into three’s and I might also add the recipe called for brussels) at 400 degrees until they’re a little browned.    Once they’re done roasting, toss with a mixture of EVOO (about 2 tablespoons), 1 tablespoon mustard (I used the Sweet ‘n Hot from TJs again), 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon agave syrup (or brown sugar) and 2 shakes of Worcestershire sauce.

Delicious dinner.

What is putting you in a good mood this week?

Anchovies and New Greens

How’s that for a random title?  Yesterday I mentioned our delicious Friday night dinner.  We were invited out to dinner and I was super-duper bummed that we had to cancel our plans to go out because the week and weekend was just way too busy.  So to cheer myself up, I had a chilled bottle of wine waiting for and I had plans to make a fantastic dinner.  I’ve been in a salmon-mood for several weeks now and since it doesn’t affect Big Guy whether I eat steak or salmon, I’ll stick with the salmon.  After a quick trip to Whole Pay Check (Whole Foods) for a ribeye fit for a man (true story, that’s what I asked for) and a perfectly pink piece of salmon, I was ready to get cookin’.  I also picked up some local bacon that was o.m.geeeee.  The bacon was used for our favorite appetizer…bacon wrapped dates stuffed honey goat cheese.  Another o.m.geeee. moment.

Grilled Sirloin (ribeye or baked salmon, in our case) with Anchovy-Lemon Butter and Broccoli Rabe.  Guess what?  Anchovies aren’t gross.  I’ve mentioned this before, but they don’t taste fishy.  It’s more salty than anything.  And if you use anchovy paste in a tube, you don’t even have to think about the fishies.  Trust me on this.

For my salmon, I simply topped it with a sprinkle of salt and a litttttle brown sugar and popped it into the oven at 350 degrees for about 8-12 minutes, depending on your piece of salmon.  Once it was cooked, a little bit of the anchovy-lemon butter completed my plate.  I loved this butter combination with the salmon (and I didn’t get any complaints from Big Guy either).

On the side, a new to me green.  I’ve had broccoli rabe before but I’ve never cooked with it.  I used way more than 2 garlic cloves and about 1/2 of a red onion.  Sauteed in a bit of EVOO and finished off with crushed red pepper.  Delicious!

And you’re not seeing things.  That is a glass of red.  Pinot Noir to be exact.  I’m trying to make my palate more mature.

P.S. I love you.

Are you fixing dinner for your significant other this evening?  If not, are you fixing dinner for yourself?  Because this dinner is worth making…even if it’s just you “mmmm”ing away.

To start, a cheese tasting plate.  Cheese, fig jam and crackers.  Fig jam pairs nicely with many cheeses.  A new cheese was on the plate….a rosemary cheese from Trader Joes.  Delicious!  It was wonderful on its on, but I think it’d would work beautifully in baked dishes.

For dinner, Salmon (for her) and Steak (for him) with a Peppercorn-Lime Rub.  The rub couldn’t be simpler.  Lime zest, salt, pepper and garlic.  I went heavy on the garlic.  If you’re both eating it, it doesn’t matter.

And on the side, a revised version of this recipe.  Instead of green beans, I used asparagus.  I simply halved them and roasted them with a little EVOO and red onion.  While the asparagus was roasted, I mixed together some white balsamic vinegar, a bit more EVOO, salt, pepper and dried cranberries.  As soon as the asparagus came out of the oven, I tossed them with the balsamic mixture and topped with toasted, chopped walnuts.  Incredible!  Bursting with flavor.  I loved how the dried cranberries soaked up some of the flavor from the white balsamic and EVOO.  Salty, sweet deliciousness with a bit of tang.

Perfect date night dinner…even if it wasn’t on Valentine’s Day!

P.S. I love you, Big Guy.

Cocktails and Girl Talk

Two of my favorite things.

Last Saturday night was girl’s night in my house.  Me, Butter Cream Queen, wine, delicious food and girl talk.

To start off girl’s night, I made Sparkling Meyer Lemon cocktails.  So far, this is my favorite cocktail of 2012.  In fact, I’m hoping to get my hands on more meyers so I can make my parents a batch.  It’s basically the best lemonade you’ve ever tasted.  With bubbles from the Proseco.  And the hint of rosemary made me feel very classy.  Sadly I’m serious.

Meyer lemons are the offspring of an affair between lemons and tangerines.  Sweeter than lemons with enough tartness to keep you coming back for more.  I think I need a meyer lemon tree in my yard now.

Following cocktail time (actually cocktail time never ended) we put together the appetizer I mentioned last Friday.  Ummmm, drool worthy.  So.much.cheese.  And that’s not a bad thing because you can never have too much cheese.  Hot + Cheesy Roasted Red Pepper Dip.

 

You can never go wrong with cream cheese + asiago cheese + fresh parm + fontina + home-roasted red peppers.  I’m pretty sure I spend half my pay check on cheese.  But I’m okay with that.  Big Guy devoured the leftovers on Sunday.  He was jealous, I could tell, that we made this without him.  That’s what happens when you’re a boy and you can’t come to girl’s night.

And finally, the dinner.  Salmon.  Oh salmon.  How I love you.  Unfortunately my relationship with Big Guy keeps me away from salmon.  But not when it’s girl’s night.  Balsamic and Brown Sugar Salmon.

That salmon was quite possibly the best salmon I’ve ever had.  Buttery and sweet.  Served with brussels (with onions and meyer lemons).

Girl’s night success.

What food do you eat when your significant other isn’t “invited”?