Ginger Glazed Salmon

First, I have to apologize for the photo. Half the entree was eaten by the time I thought to get the camera out. So no pretty food porn for you today! 

Tonight we had Ginger Glazed Salmon, which has been a popular entree in this household for years; easily our favorite way to do salmon. And tonight's dinner is a classic example of winging it - we grill this, and I had potatoes sliced, slathered in butter and wrapped in foil, and a plan to grill the asparagus -  and ran out of gas for the grill.

So, yeah, you can do this in the oven!

Ginger Glazed Salmon

From The Joy of Grilling by Joe Famularo

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cream sherry
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp fresh minced ginger
2 tsp fresh minced garlic

Combine all on small bowl or glass measuring cup. Place salmon fillet(s) in ziploc and add marinade. This is a marinade that can be done an hour or 12 hours before cooking. I usually reserve a few spoonfuls (prior to dumping on the fish!) for dipping as well. Grill as usual, OR (apparently) bake at 375 until thickest part of salmon is cooked but moist (about 15 minutes depending on thickness.

I served this with russet potatoes, sliced thin, with butter and wrapped in foil; roasted asparagus with a sharp cheddar sauce; and strawberry-rhubarb crumb pie for dessert (see next blog entry!)

I Love The Smell of Asparagus Pee in the Morning!

This is a "white" pizza - olive oil, salt, mozzarella,
 feta, asparagus, mushroom and onion.
One of the best things I've ever planted is asparagus. My very own little patch at the bottom of the yard provides plenty of fresh eating and enough to freeze a bit. Like tomatoes, what you buy the grocery store is not the same vegetable. At all. So I recommend heading to the farmer's market or, even better, find a U-pick asparagus patch. There is one on North Territorial west of Hudson Mills, look for Elderberry Lane on the right. You'll see the asparagus field on the left, with a scale and cost per pound.

So what to do with it? Pizza (see photo), omelets, on toast with cheese sauce, in quiche, wrapped in ham and It's endless.

This is one of my favorite asparagus dishes and one of the easiest ever. It's good warm or cold, as a side dish or an appetizer. Credit goes to Caprial Pence, chef from Portland, Oregon.

Roasted Asparagus with Baslamic Vinaigrette and Parmesean

1 lb fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1-2 tsp garlic, minced

1/4 cup Parmesan

Pre-heat oven to 425. On baking sheet, drizzle olive oil and roll asparagus spears to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until al dente, about 5 minutes depending on thickness (you want some crunch!).

In small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and garlic. Just before serving, drizzle vinaigrette over asparagus and top with Parmesan.


Son#2 loves this as a wrap - melted cheddar, & jambalaya in a tortilla.

A few thoughts on casseroles before we begin. The word casserole is from the French word for "saucepan," according to Wikipedia, and is also used to describe a dish that is served in the pan it is baked in. Casseroles are incredibly forgiving on content, in my opinion, and I freely substitute ingredients according to what I have on hand. The following recipe is for jambalaya, adapted from Paul Prudomme's Louisiana Kitchen (if you do not have this cookbook, go buy it now. Seriously.). While a classic combination may call for chicken and sausage, I've made this with shrimp, chicken, ham, and crawfish, among other things. It' s a great way to use up little bits of leftovers. I've used red and yellow bell peppers instead of green. I've thrown zucchini in it. If it seems like it would go with the spices, toss it in! It's all good!


(adapted from Paul Prudomme's Louisiana Kitchen)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage
  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2-3 TBS butter
  • 2 chicken boneless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 2 hot Italian sausage, chopped
  • 1.5-2 cups each - onion, green bell pepper, celery, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups uncooked rice (converted works best)
Notes: Adjust spices to heat tolerance - the measurements above are a medium heat level; Meijer makes a really good hot Italian sausage, reasonably priced, but I have also used chorizo or andouille sausage; I have oven-proof cookware, so I go from stove to oven to tabletop with my large skillet for this dish. If you are using a deeper casserole, increase baking time by 10 minutes or so. Need to save time? Chop everything up and place in ziplocs until you are ready to cook.

Heat oven to 350. In large skillet, melt butter on medium high heat. Add chicken and sausage and cook until the meat starts to brown.  Add spices, garlic, and 1/2 cup each of onions, celery and green pepper. Mix well and saute until veggies start to soften.  Add tomatoes, sauce and remaining veggies. Reduce heat to medium and cook for a few minutes, stirring often. Add chicken broth and rice. Mix well. If skillet is oven-proof, place in oven and bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or transfer to casserole dish and bake - 45 minutes for shallow baking dish, 55 for deeper casserole.

Shoo Fly Pie

A Pennsylvania Dutch thing, this is basically a molasses and
brown sugar pie and it's SO GOOD.

Shoo-Fly Pie

("wet-bottom" version, although I don't think I've ever had a "dry-bottom" shoo-fly pie)

This recipe is adapted from "Cookin' With The Lion," a Penn State alumni recipe collection for tailgating (which is almost its own sport at Beaver Stadium). 

You will need:

One 9" unbaked pie crust
1 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBS butter
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup water
1 cup molasses
1 egg

Notes: I use the yellow jar of molasses - "Grandma's Gold Standard All Natural Unsulphured Original." I say this because there is a green jar that is "robust"  - darker, stronger flavor, and that would be fine to use as well, but maybe not if you are a shoo fly pie novice.

Pre-heat oven to 400.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar and butter to make crumbs. Set aside 1/2 cup of this mixture.

Dissolve the basking soda in the water.

In another bowl, mix water, molasses and egg. Add to crumb mixture and mix to make pie filling.

Sprinkle about 2 TBS of crumb mixture on bottom of pie crust. Add the filling. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake another 30 minutes. Center of pie should spring back when pressed, almost like cake; pie has a cake-like texture.

Shrimp & Scallops in Basil Cream Sauce on Penne

The dish that really started all the bitching. Uh, I mean, peer-pressure.

Shrimp & Scallops in Basil Cream Sauce on Penne

You will need:

Medium frying/saute pan (heh. but you knew that, right?)
5 large scallops
10 large shrimp, peeled
4 "Baby Bellas" (or "adult" portabellas :) ), chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1-2 tsp garlic, minced
1 cup asparagus, chopped
2-3 TBS butter
1 cup cream or 1/2&1/2 or combination
2-3 TBS flour
Salt and pepper to taste
2 TBS basil, chopped
Pasta of your choice, cooked as directed on package

Notes: I used 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 cup half-n-half; asparagus was from my garden; basil was frozen, from last year (fresh or good dried basil would probably be ok here). I also used about a teaspoon of Sel Gris aux Herbes (thank you Stevie B), a gray salt with herbs for those with no French (like me).

In small bowl, whisk cream, flour, salt and pepper. 

On medium heat, melt butter and saute green onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add seafood and veggies, stir and saute until shrimp is pink and scallops are opaque. Do not drain liquid!

Add cream mixture and mix well with the "scallop juice" in pan. As this thickens, add basil and continue to stir. Add additional cream if sauce is too thick.

Serve over pasta. Should be enough for 2 hungry people or 3 medium-hungry people.

Gotta Have A Few Disclaimers

A few of my cook books. I stopped counting after 25.
A few disclaimers about this blog and the recipes posted herein:

I am not a chef, I just like to cook.

I don't measure stuff. So, many of the recipes here are best-guesses as to amounts, and can - and should - be adjusted to taste. Except maybe the baked goods (measuring matters).

I do get recipes from other places and will credit, where possible, the original version.

I use butter, cream, salt, sugar and many other evil calorie-and-fat-laden ingredients. Margarine people should probably just go away. Or, even better, read a few articles on what margarine actually is.

No guarantees. Results may vary. Void where prohibited. Ovens get hot. Nutella is not health food.

In pursuit of yumminess,