Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Zesty Salmon and Potato Salad

By Paul Briand

This week I managed to come up with a recipe that combined two of my wife Jane's favorite foods -- potatoes (she's Irish) and salmon (she must also be part Grizzly Bear).

The original recipe I found did something cruel to prepare the salmon: It recommended microwaving it. Ewww.

I gave it the full grill treatment, because I liked having that teeny bit of crunch to the fish.

The other thing I changed is the onion. The recipe called for red onion, which I think can be too overpowering at times, especially raw in a salad. I substituted Vidalia onion.

1 pound small red potatoes, scrubbed and halved
1 1/2 pounds of salmon fillet
1/4 cup of chopped Vidalia onion
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 head Bibb or romaine lettuce, cleaned and torn into bite-size pieces

1. Cover the potatoes with cold water, add some salt and bring to boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are tender. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside;
2. In the meantime, grill the salmon until flakey. (I removed the skin just before it was done and then grilled the skin side to give myself some nice browning on both sides.);
3. Use a fork to flake the fish meat apart into bite size chunks;
4. Transfer potatoes and flaked salmon into large mixing bowl;
5. Mix together the onion, sour cream, mayonnaise, chives, lemon juice and horseradish in a small bowl;
6. Use 2 tablespoons of the dressing to toss with the lettuce;
7. Use remaining dressing to toss the potatoes and salmon;
8. Arrange lettuce on four plates, top with potatoes and salmon, and serve.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chinese Slaw

By Paul Briand

The trick to this recipe isn't the slaw as much as the dressing.

The slaw can be adapted in a number of ways in terms of ingredients. You can add some diced chicken or diced beef or pork.

As for the dressing, you can make it tart or sweet, spicy hot or neutral. I tried to create a dressing that had a hint of each.

For the slaw:
10 ounce package of ready-made confetti slaw
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup of sugar snap peas
1/2 cup of julienne carrots
Handful of chow mein noodles
1 1/2 cups of diced chicken (or beef or pork)
For the dressing:
1/3 cup of rice wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1/3 cup of canola oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
Squirt of Dijon mustard
Dash of Tabasco (optional)

1. In a large bowl, place the slaw, green onion, sugar snap peas, carrots and chicken;
2. Dress the salad with the dressing and give it a good toss, mixing ingredients;
3. Top with the handful of chow mein noodles and serve.
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Italian Sausage Dinner Hash

By Paul Briand

If I have potatoes just laying around for no specific dinner menu, I'll make them into a breakfast/brunch hash or hashed browns.

And I had some potatoes laying around this week and thought: Why not bulk up a hash to dinner proportions?

Because this recipe creates a lot of hash, I cook it in the oven, using a spatula to turn the mixture over in the baking dish in order to get everything nice and brown. Also, I had some leftover ears of fresh corn that I stripped and added to the mixture. You can easily substitute a package of frozen corn.

6 medium sized red potatoes
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
Package of frozen corn
1 Vidalia onion, diced
1 Italian pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Sweet basil
Black pepper

1. Wash but don't peel the potatoes;
2. Cut them into large pieces and boil them until they are just about fork tender. Drain and set aside;
3. As the potatoes are boiling, in a medium hot pan cook the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces until the pink is gone and set aside;
4. Using the sausage grease (add olive oil if there isn't enough) saute the onion, pepper and garlic until they are getting limp. Remove and set aside;
5. Pour the drained potatoes into a large mixing bowl, and use a wooden spoon or potato masher to break up the chunks into smaller pieces;
6. Add the onion, pepper and garlic to the mixing bowl;
7. Break up and add the package of frozen corn;
8. Add parsley, sweet basil and pepper to taste and mix up the ingredients;
9. Place mixture into a large baking dish, spread evenly and cook uncovered in oven pre-heated at 425 degrees;
10. After 10 minutes pull out the pan and use a spatula to turn the hash;
11. Remove after another 10 minutes or after the hash is browned through and through.

And, by the way, I used the leftovers for breakfast with two eggs over easy.
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