Dip with substance

We all love dips at gatherings, but, sometimes it’s the same dip at every gathering. Which isn’t a bad thing we all have our favorites- my friend makes a fabulously addicting spinach dip!!

With the ladies coming over, we all want to serve something different, a little something to show we want to show how special we think they are.

Went to do a little shopping….saw hummus, yeah ho-hum. Oooo- is see lobster pate. Umm, maybe too much for the little container.

There’s got to be something else…. back home I go and let’s do some “net surfing”.

And there it is salmon rillete- courtesy of : http://www.foodnetwork.com

As I take a look at the recipe, I begin to really get excited about this one. Especially since I’ve never cooked with creme fraiche before.

Uh-oh, it calls for salmon- salmon that I didn’t pick up at the grocery store.

BUT WAIT!! I do have some Wild Plant Foods Wild Pink Salmon!! Ha ha! Problem solved.

Here’s everything I used

Heated up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and added the tablespoon and a half of shallots. I let it sauté until it was beginning to become translucent, it really brings about a sweet onion-garlic flavor.

Time to add in the Wild Pink Salmon! This is the part of the recipe I modified for what I had on hand. I added the salmon to the pan to help its flavor “marry” with the shallots. Don’t forget a smidge of salt and pepper to season!!

By adding the salmon to the pan not only do the flavors marry, I am able to break down the salmon to get the pate texture.

While it is cooling I put the other ingredients together. Into the bowl goes the couple of tablespoons of creme fraiche, and the tablespoon of chopped fresh tarragon.

My one-third cup of butter was not softened prior to making this dish, but the salmon mixture was warm enough to soften- not melt the butter.

It’s from here that you can mix in the creme fraiche mixture. Combine it all well together. Plating options are up to you. You can do individuals or in a pretty serving dish. You can store it in the fridge until you need it.

I tastes best when it is at the “spreadable ” stage- just add crackers or crispy pita chips

*Note: final picture was courtesy of My Recipes website*

I want to thank Wild Planet Foods for their generosity with giving me the opportunity to try and share their wonderful products. Which in turn gives me the pleasure of sharing with many others the fabulous quality and value of all the Wild Planet Foods has to offer.

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Fancy with a touch of down home

This time of year there are many seafood dishes that we gravitate towards, not just because they’re yummy- but because their light and fun!

It’s also around this time of year that there are parties, big and small. I’ve recently hosted a big party, celebrating my son’s high school graduation. So, of course we want to make it special.

I’ve been seeing a lot of different crab cakes in restaurants and stores. But, it can be pricey. I could make it, but I want something different. What other seafood is popular and versatile?

Wild Planet Foods Salmon!!

I’m thinking Salmon cakes! Let’s add some fun to it- corn chowder style!! This recipe is based off of the Mini Salmon corn chowder cakes found on the Food Network. I have added my own spin to it to make it a more “me” dish.

So we’ll start with some bacon

For the big crowd I used 4 cans and 8 cooked 8 pieces of bacon.

Don’t throw away the oil! We will then cook our one and three-fourths small diced yellow onions, half cup of small diced celery, one cup of fine diced red bell pepper and lastly a cup and a half of corn (frozen or canned drained). You can adjust the amount of red bell pepper and corn depending on your preference.

Add about 2 teaspoons thyme.

Once the onions have become transparent and the celery and red bell pepper has softened just a touch; I have added the canned salmon. A good mix in the pan and the bacon follows.

To give it the “cake” portion, most recipes call for boiling potatoes and creating a mashed potato. I took a short cut, and made instant mashed potatoes and combined it with the salmon mixture.

Combining well, a little at a time. Next comes the 2 eggs to hold it all together, if it doesn’t hold together like s snowball or “mud pie” add another egg.

Once you’ve reached the right texture, you can also chill it for about 15-20 minutes so you can form the cakes. I form the cakes and place them on a lined tray

Now comes the traditional frying method.

I have Malaysia Palm Oil heating in my pan, remember Malaysia Palm Oil can hold a higher heat.

While the oil is getting ready, I have my egg wash, and Panko bread crumbs all set. The Panko will give it an extra crunch

In the pan they go. And I do put them on a tray with paper towels to catch any extra oil that may come from the frying.

Plate them on a fun or fancy tray and it makes for a great appetizer that give a little extra to the meal. They are great just as is, but if you want just a smidge more for it, a garlic aioli goes great with it.

Pressed for time to make the aioli? Many stores now carry ready made aioli, you can find it in the dressing/ mayonnaise aisle. I won’t tell if you won’t!

This delicious recipe was made possible by the generosity of Wild Planet Foods . Once you’ve tried them, you won’t forget them!

http://www.wildplanetfoods.com

Learning the Fun Way

Classes have begun…. not those classes- the Maggiano’s Kids Cooking Classes!! YAY!!!

With most of the schools out and summer vacation beginning all parents want the kids to have fun but have quality activities.

Cooking covers a lot of school subjects without the kids even knowing!

Let’s see….. there’s reading. Won’t know what the recipe calls for without reading the recipe first.

Math is covered, especially when you have to make more that one batch of the recipe.

Finally, if there’s any baking to do, and you know you’ve heard this before… there is a science to baking!

Throw in “art” for the creativity each personal chef adds to a dish!

At the May class they began with preparing dessert first. Our favorite, the apple crostata!

Besides the science and “exactness ” of baking, creativity plays a part when it comes to adding or not adding caramel sauce or a whipped topping.

That’s just a quick sample of what they do.

Don’t worry parents, you start the class with coffee and fresh made Maggiano’s pastries!

The class doesn’t end until all have had lunch!

All the dishes prepared by the kid chefs are packaged up and ready to take home and share with the family.

Check your local Maggiano’s restaurant for time and days of their Kids Cooking Class

Don’t just shake off Winter dust

Spring went by in a flash and Summer is now here. But not without a few souvenirs to remember Spring by. You know, dust, pollen and allergens to add on to what we normally have in our homes.

From past posts you’ve heard me talk about Winix Air Purifiers. I absolutely love mine!

Though I think I can always use another one, especially the Winix QS!!!! Why, you ask?

This particular model is perfect for absolutely any room in the house!! It not only cleans the air, it plays music!!!

Functional and fun!! The JBL speaker is built right in, can you see it? It’s the small rectangle in the front. Being it’s JBL you know the sound will be amazing. Now, excuse my mini “geek out” here…. it has two 8 watt speakers. Part of the signature sound that JBL is known for, it has dual passive radiators to do the job.

Let’s go to the functional side. Here’s how the air travels through

Check out the 4 stage air cleaning system. Features such as hair collecting pre-filter too.

I like the the air quality indicator, it shows it’s working. I can be a skeptic when it comes to caring for the family and there are times that “seeing is believing “.

Don’t worry about changing the filter, “easy-peasy”.

A little tech talk, Bluetooth capability is always a plus. For the JBL speakers verified at 320 sq.ft. There are Smart Sensors that can constantly monitor the air quality giving it that famous “set and forget”!

Where can you find it?

It is offered on the Home Depot website, along with Wayfair, and of course at the Winix website

(http://www.winixamerica.com)

The Winix QS is not only a great idea for your home. They make great gifts, truly the gift that keeps on giving. Great for wedding gifts, graduation gifts (those dorms do get stuffy), and Father’s Day is right around the corner!!

Clean air and great sounds! What more could you ask for???

Simply Salmon

Everyone has mixed tuna into their egg salad or eggs into their tuna salad. But when you’ve got affordable high quality pink salmon from Wild Planet Foods, you go for the salmon!

We’ll call this Salmon egg salad salad since the salmon is the star of this salad…..

I used two cans of salmon, 2 tablespoons very fine diced onions, and three fourths cup cubed seedless cucumbers.

In the two photos above I have added one tablespoon of lemon zest and about one to one and a half teaspoons of paprika.

In goes the dill – I got a little heavy handed, so a tablespoon would be good. Salt and pepper to taste.

Because of the two cans of salmon I added almost a little over a half a cup of mayonnaise. The creaminess came from the Greek yogurt, it was half of the regular size cup. It is the plain Greek yogurt that I used.

I’ve had a great lunch with my freshly made salad…. and of course I shared with my buddies!

A big “thank you” goes out to Wild Planet Foods for sending their amazing salmon for me to cook with and have the opportunity to share it with my family and friends.