Smoked Salmon Roll Ups

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I pretty much slept through New Year’s Eve and most of New Year’s Day, which is why I’m still making and eating “party food” two days later. But, smoked salmon is just as tasty on January 2nd — especially when it’s wrapped around a creamy, tangy filling.

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There’s no recipe per se… simply mix together softened goat cheese (I used Montchevre) with lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice, capers, and fresh dill.

Spread the mixture on thinly sliced smoked salmon cut into appetizer-sized pieces.

Roll up!

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Garnish at will and enjoy a sublime start to any meal… or year.

Enjoying a late start in 2017,

~ Kim

The Heart of the Matter (Roasted Artichoke Heart, Red Bell Pepper, & Caper Salad)

Roasted Artichoke Heart Salad

I did something just now that I haven’t done in a long time.  I scrolled through six months’ worth of my posts and read what I wrote.

“Holy cow!  I’m all over the map!” I declared in my pre-dawn stupor.

Then I laughed. :)

Have you read what you’ve written lately?  (You should.)

And while you’re at it, pat yourself on the back.

The heart of the matter is:  You’re expressing yourself to the world!

That’s something to be proud of.  (I am.)

Life is a tasty hodgepodge, just like this salad…

A Tasty Hodgepodge

Roasted Artichoke Heart, Red Bell Pepper, & Caper Salad

(adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe on Food Network)

1 can of artichoke hearts, drained

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

1/2 jar of roasted red bell peppers, drained & diced

2 Tbsp. capers, drained

Basil Vinaigrette (recipe to follow)

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Pat artichoke hearts dry; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Toss gently; transfer to a baking sheet.

Roast until browned, 25 to 30 minutes, turning once.  (I added the drained peppers at the 20 minute mark to heat them.)

Meanwhile, make vinaigrette.

Basil Vinaigrette

1 Tbsp. thinly sliced green onion

1 Tbsp. dried basil (I’m sure fresh would be stellar)

A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. tarragon vinegar

Dijon mustard, to taste

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine dressing ingredients in a measuring cup.  Whisk until incorporated; set aside.

Remove artichoke hearts and peppers from oven.  Drizzle with Basil Vinaigrette to allow them to soak up the flavor as they cool.

Transfer roasted veggies to a bowl.  Add capers and additional vinaigrette to taste; toss gently.

Serve warm with crusty bread and a glass of Chardonnay.

When Life Tosses You Crumbs, Eat Them!

No matter how “un-related” your posts (or mine) may (or may not) be, the important thing is: you’re expressing your heart!

The world’s a better place for it and I thank you for blessing my life with your presence.

Enjoying random thoughts and recipes,

~ Kimby

Bending The Rules (Lemon Parmesan Pasta with Grilled Salmon)

I am (and always will be) rule-oriented.  I can’t help it; it’s in my DNA.

(The Man Of Few Words teases me about it occasionally — he nicknamed me “Miss OSHA.”)

Life (for me) feels better when I follow the rules.  Except when I’m in the kitchen.

There, all rules (real or imaginary) begin to relax a little — bend a little — and I find myself embracing rebellion.

“It’s a no-no to serve fish with cheese.”  Really?

(Profuse apologies to Scott Conant, whom I admire very much.)

At my dinner table, cheese periodically finds its way onto the same plate as a creature of the sea.  Gasp!

Call me food-rule-disrespectful, but it tastes good!  Of course, I’m mindful of “which cheese” with “what fish,” so as not to overwhelm the delicate flavor of said fish (my fellow “rule followers” will appreciate the amount of research behind that statement…) and when push comes to shove, I’ll serve it on the side, like I did this Lemon Pasta.

Laced with lemon juice and laden with shredded Parmesan (cheese…), it was the perfect accompaniment for a hot-off-the-grill slab of salmon, if I do say so myself.  (Actually, I couldn’t say so myself — my mouth was too busy enjoying the flavor.)

A quick note about my pale-looking asparagus, though… I forgot to dunk it in ice water after I blanched it.  Gasp!  (tee hee)  Maybe my DNA is restructuring.  I feel more relaxed about “rules” already.

Bending the rules (or forgetting them altogether) still makes for a mighty tasty meal.

Lemon Parmesan Pasta with Grilled Salmon

(pasta recipe adapted from a very old issue of Bon Appetit)

1 salmon filet per person, grilled until fish flakes easily with a fork

2 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided

1/4 c. pine nuts

1 large onion, chopped

1 T. finely minced garlic

1/2 t. red pepper flakes (or to taste)

1/4 t. Kosher salt

1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 c. chopped Kalamata olives

2 T. capers, rinsed and drained

1 lb. pasta noodles (your choice), cooked and drained

1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese (reserve some for garnish)

Juice of 1 large lemon

1/4 t. ground thyme (or 1 tsp. finely minced fresh thyme)

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute pine nuts in 1 tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned; remove and set aside.

Add remaining oil to skillet; increase heat to medium-high.  Add onion; cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, olives and capers; cook 1 minute.  Remove from heat.

Add cooked pasta, pine nuts, Parmesan, lemon juice, and thyme; toss to coat.  Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.  And fish.

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Enjoying bending the rules now and then,

~ Kim

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Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade with Grilled Tortillas

Hi, everybody!  I’m just now getting up to speed following our trip to Minnesota, so this post is necessarily short — followed by a short and savory recipe.  (Sometimes you just gotta get it made and get eatin’.)

I will state for the record, though, that capers are essential in tapenade.  Please don’t leave ’em out!

Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade with Grilled Tortillas

1/4 c. roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry, & chopped (I used the jarred kind, roughly equivalent to 1 whole roasted red pepper, for a “quick fix” method)

1/2 c. pitted black olives, chopped

1 plum tomato, seeded & chopped

1 garlic clove, pressed

1/2 Tbsp. capers, rinsed and drained

1/2 Tbsp. lime juice

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 medium-sized flour tortillas (or other flat, dippable bread)

Place everything but the tortillas in a food processor or blender.  Give ’em a whirl until finely ground.

Transfer the mixture to a small glass bowl; set aside.  (I drained mine in a fine mesh strainer before serving — it’s up to you.)  (If you do, save the drained oil to dip fluffier bread in later, if you like.) :)

Meanwhile, grill the tortillas on a griddle, a grill, or over an open flame of a gas burner (options, options…) until toasted, but still “chewy” in the middle.  

Using a pizza cutter, slice the tortillas into triangles.  Serve immediately with tapenade.

Done deal!

Enjoying the short and savory things in life,

~ Kim

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