I think Panko breadcrumbs are amazing and we always have an air tight container holding some in our cupboard. They have a crispness to them that I really like over other breadcrumbs, and are now easily found & readily available at most grocery stores. They were called into action for my dinner last eve. TPS was out for work and I arrived home a bit late from the shops. Ted had made salmon (that was topped with finely diced shallots and tons of citrus zest) a few days before, and there was a good sized leftover piece. It would be the perfect thing to make a few salmon cakes for an easy supper. Here is what I did.
I put them together while Bailey ate her dinner so they could sit in the fridge and firm up while I took her out for a walk after her meal. The leftover salmon was about 8 ounces, enough to make 2 large cakes or 4 smaller. I opted to make 2 and only ended up eating one, as they are super filling.
In a bowl crack open and add an extra large egg. 2 if your eggs are small. They will be the binder for everything. Whisk the egg/eggs with a fork. Then a heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard and a quarter of a cup of mayo, along with a good sized pinch of salt & pepper. To all that add 1/2 of a cup of Panko breadcrumbs. Mix all together. Then break apart the already cooked salmon and add to the mixture. Mix all together until fully incorporated. Then form into 2 or 4 cakes. On a plate add another 1/2 of a cup of Panko. Take each cake and coat them with the breadcrumbs. Then with a skillet add a knob of butter and a glug of extra virgin olive oil and heat that all up on medium to medium high heat. Add the salmon cakes and cook for several minutes on each side until they are golden. At this point they would be ready to eat. I put them in a 300 degree oven to keep warm while I whipped up a salad. The salmon cakes work beautifully set atop an arugula salad or cabbage slaw.
This is such a simple dressing, a lemon vinaigrette, with the mustard emulsifying making it creamy and the addition of freshly grated Parmesan cheese to really pump up the flavor quotient.
Squeeze the juice of a good sized lemon into a bowl. We had 2 small lemons that I thought were close to equaling a large one. No pits please. Then a spoonful of mustard. I am not giving exact measurements as I want you to see how easy this is and you can make it more lemon-y or mustard-y by adding more or less. Then add a few good pinches of salt & pepper. Eyeball and add twice as much extra virgin olive oil as what is in the bowl. A 2 to 1 ratio of oil to acid is great here. Now with a fork, whisk it all together. The mustard will magically make it all mix together making a pretty darn yummy dressing. Now add the freshly grated Parm to the mixture. It adds a textured creaminess that takes it all to a different level. It becomes a thicker, richer vinaigrette, perfect served as is over your desired greens. Enjoy!
This is what you whip up when you have that pesky jar of mustard sitting in your fridge and there is still mustard in it. But not enough mustard to really do anything major with, but enough still left that you can’t bring yourself to toss it. This is the easiest thing in the world to do, with things you have a bit extra of. Take one lemon and quarter it. Squeeze the heck out of those slices over a cup or small bowl, making sure seeds do not enter the liquid produced. Add that lemony gold to the waiting jar of mustard. Then peel one good sized clove of garlic, smashing it just a tad with the back of the knife. Add the whole smushed garlic to the jar. Then add a few generous pinches of salt and a few cracks of the pepper grinder into the lemony mustard mixture. Almost there. Told you this was incredibly easy. Lastly add the best extra virgin olive oil you have around, about then again as much as the liquid in the jar. Typically twice as much oil to acid is a good vinaigrette ratio. Just eyeball it, and no huge deal if you add a tad more or less. Slip the lid back on. Check twice to make sure it is on nice and tight. Yes, I have made this error and it is not pretty. Now, shake, shake, shake that bottle. If music is playing in the background while you are doing this, even better. Done. You just made a really tasty lemony garlicky vinaigrette. Pour right out of the bottle over greens of your choosing, making sure to leave the garlic clove in the bottle. Any remaining will last in the fridge quite nicely. With the garlic continuing to infuse even more. Add a little more of all the above to the bottle and you can make another round with any leftover.
Trying a new dish for me usually ends up as a compilation of several different things I have seen/read, then I put my own spin on it. Roasting potatoes with mustard is one of those things. I saw it on a blog post, saw it in a food magazine, then saw it on a cooking show. This is so easy, and so comforting & tasty.
Preheat oven to 400. I know, I cook almost everything at 400. Cut Yukon gold potatoes in pieces that are two bite size. Generally this is quartering them, depending on the size of the spud. You don’t want them super small as they start to break down in the baking/roasting process. Spread the cut potatoes out into a large oven proof dish or roasting pan. They really need to be a single layer. If they are stacked, they steam more than roast. Then cut up a red onion into large pieces and scatter about. They are such a great combination with the potatoes. Then drizzle all with extra virgin olive oil and a heavy hand with the salt & pepper. Then the magic happens. Spoon over the whole lot several heaping spoonfuls of whole grain mustard. Now with your hands, get into the entire mixture and move it all around until everything is nice and evenly coated with the mustard, including the onions. Wash hands thoroughly, as they will be a mustardy mess. Then put the dish or sheet pan into the hot oven. Check every 15 minutes, turning things with a spatula or a spoon. 45 minutes to an hour should do the trick. Your kitchen will smell divine. Out will come these golden nuggets of deliciousness. They snuggled right up last evening to a piece of halibut, but would work with almost anything. Think steak, chicken. So good. Topped with a fried egg for a breakfast as dinner would be out of this world.
Truffles have such a crazy, decadent vibe to them. The earthy edible being off the charts expensive when consumed just as they are. But add bits of them to things like salt, mustard and oils and you have an affordable luxury that makes for pretty swanky gifts this time of year. Add to things like popcorn, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, or a roast chicken and the earthiness of the truffle just shines.
New to our shelves is this amazing balsamic fig & date mustard from Canada. I find mustard to be one of those things that work perfectly to have hanging around in the fridge at the ready to whip up a whole host of things. So good added to the top of a roasting chicken breast. A big dollop of this added to a vinaigrette would make it memorable. A big smear of this on a turkey sandwich would just bump up the flavor to another level. Plus I always am taken with black & white packaging…
Happy sunny Saturday!