20130222

BAKED SALMON with Blueberry Salsa & SALMON SPREAD


BAKED SALMON with BLUEBERRY SALSA
served with MOROCCAN RICE
and SALMON SPREAD from the Leftover Salmon!

INGREDIENTS
2 Fresh Salmon Fillets
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon of Grated Fresh Ginger
1/2 C. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 Bunch of Chopped Cilantro
2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
Sea Salt & Black Pepper to Taste

DIRECTIONS
Combine all the ingredients in a zip-lock bag, shake well to combine the ingredients
Add your salmon fillets and allow this to marinate for a minimum of 3 hours.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on how you like your salmon).

Top with Blueberry Salsa and serve with Moroccan Rice!

Are those Aliens on my plate?? Yes, they are!! I know it's a busy plate design but these just cracked me up so I bought some.  Then I did an Outer Space Tablescape:
ET did not phone home, he ate and it turned on his heart light......Bwaha!

How to turn this recipe into a Tiny Food?
SMOKED SALMON SPREAD 
from the leftovers salmon!:

INGREDIENTS
6 Oz. Baked or Smoked Salmon*
1 - 8 Oz. Container of Whipped Cream Cheese
1/2 C. Sour Cream
1 Tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Tsp. Lemon Zest
2 Tsp. Dill Weed
Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Sweet Basil
1/2 Tsp. Prepared Horseradish
Smoked Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Mix this all together in a small bowl, chill for a few hours to allow the flavors to mingle then enjoy on toasted baguette slices, crackers, toasted flour tortilla triangles or as a dipping sauce for veggies!

*Since I didn't have smoked salmon I added a nice pinch of Smoked Alderwood Sea Salt!

And did I say paired with a Dill Pickle Vodka Shot???? YES! I did!! Naked Jay Vodka makes a truly wonderful dill pickle infused vodka that rocks the casbah with this Smoked Salmon Spread!!

BTW, Here's yet ANOTHER great, easy recipe for leftover salmon:
BAKED SALMON CUPCAKES

Bon Appetweeto!


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20130221

BLUEBERRY SALSA, BLUEBERRY NACHOS & BLUEBERRY BOOZE!


FRESH BLUEBERRY SALSA

1/2 C. Fresh, Whole Blueberries
1 C. Fresh Blueberries, Chopped
1/3 C. Chopped Red Onion
1/3 C. Chopped Green* & Yellow Bell Pepper
1/4 C. Cilantro Leaves
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
Sea Salt to Taste
*You may substitute or add Chopped Jalapenos!

Mix this all together and allow to chill for a few hours before serving.

I made this Blueberry Salsa to go with Baked Salmon (recipe for the will be posted tomorrow) and served it with a side of my Moroccan Rice. It was really delicious and full of antioxidants and omega fatty acids, all of which are good for the heart!  And I had extra salsa left over so....

How did I use this Blueberry Salsa in a Tiny Food?
BLUEBERRY NACHOS!
Recipe:
1-8" Flour Tortilla, cut into triangles
My Blueberry Salsa
Fresh Mint Leaves
1/3 C. Mascarpone Cheese
1/3 Tsp. Lemon Zest
1 Tablespoon of Honey
  • Cut your tortilla triangles and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F until the edges are golden brown, about 5 - 8 minutes.
  • Mix together the Mascarpone, lemon zest and honey.
  • Add a few leaves of chopped, fresh mint leaves to the Blueberry Salsa.
  • When the tortilla triangles are cooled spread an even layer of the Marscarpone cheese mixture on each.
  • Spoon on a healthy measure of the mint enhanced Blueberry Salsa.
  • Drizzle with a little more honey.
  • Garnish with a small sprig of fresh mint.
The Blueberry Nachos would go great with my newly moonshined Blueberry Liqueur (see below) or either of these Blueberry Martinis:

What else did I do with these beautiful blueberries?
I TURNED THEM INTO BOOZE!

I have done justice to blueberries!


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20130220

MOROCCAN RICE - Internationalize Your Side Dish!

 
MOROCCAN RICE
(Spice up your side dish with some international flair!)

I love rice but I do get a little tired of plain old white rice no matter what variety.  Lately I've been experimenting with new rice recipes as side dishes for my meals.  In the past few months I've diddled around with Fiesta Rice to go with some Tortilla Encrusted Tilapia, Confetti Rice to go with some Curried Coconut Orange Catfish and a few others. I like adding complementary flavors to rice to go with the main entree.

I also like add-ins like dried fruits, nuts, herbs, spices and replacing the water with flavored liquids like stocks, coconut milk or water, juices and even a dash of wine or champagne.

When I got some lovely Wild Salmon and some gorgeous, fresh blueberries on my last shopping expedition I immediately went to work on a new dish.  The result was my Baked Salmon with Blueberry Salsa and I quickly whipped up the rice below to go with it!

(Pssst - I'll be posting the Blueberry Salsa recipe tomorrow and the Baked Salmon recipe on Friday, so come back for the whole entree!)
 
INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 Cups of Chicken Stock (or Water)
1 Cup of Jasmine Rice
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1/3 C. of Shelled Pistachios
1/3 C. of Diced Red Onions
1 Tsp. Lemon Zest
1/2 C. of Raisins
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 Tsp. Grated Fresh Ginger

DIRECTIONS
  • Measure out your stock or water and add the spices and the lemon zest, put aside.
  • Heat the olive oil on medium in a saucepan.
  • Add the red onions and sweat for 3 or 4 minutes - you want the onions slightly translucent.
  • Add the pistachios and saute on medium-high until lightly browned.
  • Add your rice and toast for a minute or two.
  • Add your spice-lemon-stock/water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes* (or cook according to directions on package).
  • Remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Fluff and serve.
*My rice only took 15 minutes and the package directions said 20 so keep an eye on your rice!
 
How did I turn this Moroccan Rice into a Tiny Food??  I made Moroccan Rice Balls!!!

I didn't have a recipe so I Googled a few and came across this hilarious and adorable video of Fabio Viviana (@fabioviviani) making rice balls out of overcooked risotto. This wasn't exactly how I did mine since I wasn't using risotto, but I laughed and enjoyed the video so thought you might also.

Here's a basic formula for making Rice Balls (aka Arancini) with leftover rice:
BTW - Arancini translates roughly to "little orange" in Italian and they do look a bit like that!

1 Cup of Rice
1 Egg
Seasonings, Spices & Add-Ins
(My Moroccan Rice already had them!)
Roll about 1 tablespoon of this mixture in your hands into a ball.
Optional - roll the ball into some bread crumbs or Panko.
Bake 20 - 30 minutes at 425 degrees F - time depends on size of balls - until GBD (Golden Brown & Delicious)
Serve with a complementary sauce!
 
Yes, I did serve martinis with the Moroccan Rice Balls - these just screamed Pina Colada Martinis to me! Enjoy and please share the recipes!
 
 

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20130201

PICO DE GALLO with Four Cheese Quesidillas - GAME ON!

 
FRESH PICO DE GALLO
Served with Four Cheese Quesadillas
 
When it comes to salsas I am all for fresh.  I don't like bottled or canned versions much at all and I will opt for homemade Pico de Gallo the minute I have some fresh tomatoes and cilantro in the house.  I can make a meal out of fresh Pico de Gallo and some cheese and tortillas which is exactly what I did here and what I plan to do for Superbowl Sunday!

Both my recipes are simple and require only a little time and effort, something that is dear to my heart as I am basically lazy!  When I do have some time off I don't like to spend it slaving away in the kitchen!
 
Both these recipes will serve between 4 and 5 people:

PICO DE GALLO
5 Beefsteak or Roma Tomatoes, Diced to 1/2"
1 Red Onion, Diced to 1/4"
1 Cucumber, Seeded and Diced to 1/4"
1/2 Bunch of Fresh Cilantro, Chopped Medium
3 Cloves of Garlic, Crushed
1 Can of Diced Chili Peppers*
Juice of 1 Lime
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Few Sprigs of Cilantro for Garnish

Mix this all up in a bowl and chill until game time!
 
 
 
FOUR CHEESE QUESADILLAS
1 Pkg. (8) Large Flour Tortillas
2 Oz. Each of Monterey Jack, Sharp Cheddar, Queso Blanco and Asadero Cheeses
(Sargento makes a nice mix very similar to this called 4 Cheese Mexican!)
 
My Favorite Optional Add Ins:
Chipotle Chilies (you can find these packed in Adobo Sauce)
Chorizo, Cooked & Crumbled
Grilled or Roasted Chicken, Shredded
 
Special Tools: Large Skillet or Grill Pan

Place 4 of the tortillas down and sprinkle them liberally with the cheeses and whatever optional fillings you like. Top each of these off with another tortilla then stack in layers of paper towels and cover with a wax paper lined damp tea towel until ready to grill and serve.
 
When you're ready to serve place your quesadillas onto your skillet or grill and toast until the tortilla is lightly browned and the cheese is melted. (If you want to cheat or like a lighter char on your tortillas, you can microwave them first to get the cheese slightly melted.)  Remove from the heat, cut into 6 to 8 wedges each, add a little extra cheese to the top, serve with a nice helping of the Pico de Gallo and garnish with a cilantro sprig!
 
I like to add some Guacamole if I have the avocados and I set out bottles of all sorts of hot sauces for those who like a little extra heat.

Serve these up with my GAZPACHO MARTINIS or some of my BEER MARGARITAS and put your game face on for Superbowl Sunday!
 

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