Monday, November 29, 2010

What to do with Left-Overs Yes I do! Honestly, that's about the only thing I get when I go to a Chinese restaurant, or Japanese Steak House. Sometimes I get the spicy Mangolian beef, or the Chicken and Broccoli, but I ALWAYS get some fried rice. I don't even need them to put beef, shrimp, or chicken in it. This dish is so deliciously flavorful that it doesn't need any of those things.

I have tried for many years to make Chinese-style fried rice.....but to no avail. In my opinion, no one can make fried rice better than the Chinese. And I don't know why. But it is a true gift. It must be the wok that they use or something. Or maybe its the.......**sigh** never mind. I'll give myself a headache trying to figure out their secret.

Anyways, once I finally stopped trying to get the exact flavor in my fried rice that I taste at the Chinese restaurants, and just made my own version of the dish...I finally came up with a recipe that I like.

I threw in the left-over salmon from the previous recipe to add a little "somethin-somethin". Pretty much any left-over meat, chicken, or seafood can be used in this recipe. Trying to get rid of some vegetables too? Throw those in as well!

**if you have a nut allergy, use canola/vegetable oil to saute & omit the sesame oil at the end**

Salmon Fried Rice

1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup cooked rice
2 eggs
left-over salmon
1-2 tablespoons of soy sauce (depending on how you like it)
1 teaspoon fish sauce

sesame oil
green onions, green parts only, chopped small

Heat a pan or wok on medium heat. While pan is heating, beat eggs in a bowl and set aside. When pan is hot, add peanut oil, garlic, ginger, and onion. Cook for 30-45 seconds, making sure not to let the garlic burn.

Add rice. Cook for one minute. Push this mixture to the side of the pan/wok and add eggs to the other side. Scramble (this should take a few seconds if the pan is still hot). Mix the scrambled eggs with the rice and add salmon, soy sauce and fish sauce. Saute one more minute and finish with a drizzle of sesame oil and green onions.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Okay....For Real This Time!

Since my last post was called "I Love Salmon"....and me being the weirdo that I am didn't give you a salmon recipe...I figured I would post one really quick! It is a moroccan spiced salmon with a harissa vinaigrette served over cous cous. Harissa is an African hot sauce made with chilies, tomatoes, and spices. It is delicious as a marinade, sauce, or in this case, a vinaigrette.

I made this recipe while I was shooting a cooking video for an event I was doing a couple months ago. It turned out beautifully.

When making this dish, or any salmon dish for that matter, it is best to use fresh Wild Alaskan Salmon. It costs a couple dollars more a pound than Atlantic Salmon, or other types, but it is well worth it. I love my salmon with the skin on. For this dish you can leave the skin on, or have your fish monger take it off.

To add a little 'pizazz' to the cous cous, just follow the instructions on the packet. Then saute fresh vegetables, such as zucchini, red peppers, and mushrooms and add them to the cooked cous cous.

It's a lot of ingredients, but this meal can definitely be started and finished in 10-15 minutes (not including the time the salmon is marinating of course).

Moroccan Spiced Salmon w/Harissa Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground red pepper
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 salmon filets
cilantro, shredded
mint, shredded

Harissa Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinaigrette
3/4 cup roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste

For the salmon, mix everything together in a resealable plastic bag. Marinate 30 minutes to an hour in the refrigerator. **If you want to eat fast, skip the marinating.**

For the harissa vinaigrette, place all ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly.

Heat a skillet on medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add salmon filets and cook approximately 3-4 minutes per side, depending on thickness.

Serve salmon over cous cous and drizzle with vinaigrette.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I really do! At one point, I would eat fresh salmon from the Dekalb Farmers Market about 3 times a week. But cleeeaaaaarly I didn't have the funds for that lavish lifestyle....and I shortly realized that I had to cut back on my salmon intake. Oh what a sad day that was.

Actually, it was my "salmon day" the other day, and it was delicious. Yummy!

I know the title of this post is "I Love Salmon", but what I really want to share is the simple green bean recipe that I made to go along with the fish. It has fresh ginger, tomatoes, sesame oil, and it is a great new way to try and cook fresh green beans (a.k.a. french beans, a.k.a. haricot verts). I'm not going to include the salmon recipe because it was very basic (salt, pepper, and I think that was it). I served it with yellow rice.

**I use nut oils in this recipe (sesame and peanut), but regular canola oil will be fine if you have a nut allergy**

Sesame French Beans with Ginger
  • 1/2 pound fresh french beans, ends cut (canned green beans will not do)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, or veg stock if you want to keep it vegetarian
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Sesame oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add beans and blanch for approximately 1-2 minutes. Remove from pot and "Shock" them in an ice bath.

Heat a skillet on medium-low heat and add peanut oil. Saute garlic and ginger for about 30 seconds, do not let them get brown. Add tomatoes and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add chicken stock and let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the french beans and cook for 3-4 more minutes, until beans are heated through. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and drizzle with sesame oil.







Sunday, November 14, 2010


Kale is an extremely nutritious vegetable. It has powerful antioxidants, and is an excellent source of beta carotene, vitamins K & C, and calcium. It is also believed to have anti-cancer properties. But Kale scares a lot of people. If it is not cooked properly, it can taste very bitter and unpleasant. For this reason, I NEVER tried to cook kale. I just kept hearing too many negative comments about this misunderstood vegetable.

But then....I learned the secret to kale. Really, this is the secret to many green vegetables. For a while, I prided myself on being one of the few people who can make a "mean kale dish"! People would say "Oh my goodness, this actually tastes good. I've never had kale that tasted good! What's you secret?" Well, now I'm going to stop being so stingy and share my secret with you all.

ACID....specifically for this ingredient, fresh lemon juice. I do not know the "scientifical" reason as to why lemon can take a bitter green vegetable and turn it into something beautiful. But it works, so I'm rolling with it.

Actually when you think about it, we use acid in a lot of our green vegetables. When you cook collard greens, turnips, or mustard greens....don't you add a little vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar) to the cooking liquid?? Most people I know do. But we probably never knew why we added it. My mom put vinegar in her collards because her mom did, so now I put vinegar in my greens.

Well, now I know it's not just because of the nice "apple cidery" flavor it adds to the greens. It's also because it takes the bitterness out of dark leafy green vegetables and turns it into a healthy side dish that you actually want to eat. I also squeeze fresh lemon juice in my sauteed broccoli, and sometimes when I'm cooking fresh green beans.

I'm going to share a kale recipe I made the other day. You can make it in about 10 minutes.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tilapia filet
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular paprika if you can't find smoked)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (if you can't find this, it'll still taste good without it)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 bunch of kale, rinsed and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken stock (or veg stock, or water if you don't have either)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 lemon, cut in half

Rub the oil all over the tilapia. Season with curry, coriander, paprika, garam masala, salt & pepper. Heat pan on medium heat. When pan is very hot, add tilapia and cook about 3-4 minutes per side, or until it is fully cooked.

While the tilapia is cooking, heat another skillet on medium-low heat. Add oil and garlic and cook about 30 seconds, do not let it brown. Add kale, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Using tongs, turn the kale in the pan, so that all of it gets coated with the oil and seasonings (the kale will start to wilt at this point). Add chicken stock, cover and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. When kale is cooked, squeeze fresh lemon juice and toss. Serve with the tilapia.


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