Day 17

Blackened Salmon Sandwich with Homemade Aeoil and Arugula on Garlic Tuscan Bread

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So for those who know me, I have never been into seafood or fish. I figured it was about time I try to face my fear and make something for the blog. I guess if I want to keep working on my cooking, I’m going to need to like fish.

This salmon was… SO SO SO SO SO SO SO good. I’ve always loved a good aioli so drenching the salmon with it definitely helped. I was also surprised how spicy this blackened seasoning was, but it ended up being great. I used a homemade recipe for creole seasoning, which worked perfect.

There’s something fun about cooking salmon because it’s so pink and also really fragile. Once you cut into the salmon it flakes so nicely and you can really see how moist it is.

I’m going to have to try salmon again and explore seafood/fish more.

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Use Real Butter Recipe:

Ingredients

3 tbsps cajun or creole seasoning
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp paprika
dash of ground pepper
4 tbsps melted butter
4 pieces of salmon (about 3-4 ounces each)
sandwich buns (something soft)
arugula
aioli

Directions

Prepare your grill on high heat. Combine the cajun or creole seasoning with the thyme, paprika, and ground pepper in a shallow bowl. Place the butter in another shallow bowl. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel and dip each piece in the melted butter to coat completely. Then dredge each piece through the spices, making sure to press the spices to any bare spots. Grill the salmon for 6-8 minutes over high flame, flipping once half-way through the cooking time (nominally around 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Set one piece of salmon on the bottom of a sandwich bun. Top with aioli, arugula, and the top of the sandwich bun. Serves 4.

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creole seasoning
1/2 cup paprika
1/2 cup granulated garlic
1/4 cup granulated onion
3 tbsps black pepper
2 tsps white pepper
2 tsps cayenne pepper
1/4 cup dried oregano
1/4 cup dried thyme
2 tsps ground cumin
2 tbsps sugar

aioli
3 cloves garlic
1/2 -1 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

Make the aioli: Peel the garlic cloves and mince. Gather the garlic into a little pile and pour the salt over it. With the flat of a sturdy knife blade, crush the salt into the garlic until you get a nice paste. Combine the paste in a bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk or beat the egg yolks together (you can also use a food processor), adding a few drops of olive oil at the start. Keep whisking and adding a little oil until it begins to thicken. While whisking/beating, pour half of the oil into the mixture in a slow and thin stream. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and continue whisking in the remaining oil until it reaches the desired consistency. Add more lemon juice and or salt to taste.

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Day 1

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Two Recipes Today:

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Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Bundles

Why not just wrap every food in bacon?

There was quite an argument between James, my mom, and I when we were trying to decide how much longer to cook, because 12 minutes in the oven didn’t seem quite long enough. My mom definitely wants to see bacon cooked so that it looks completely black. Personally, I just want to see the mix of brick red and pink colors covered in grease. For presentation, cooking bacon in the oven was definitely the best choice. Over dinner, we talked about how for a more charred cook, starting to cook them in the oven and then grilling for the last few minutes might be the best option.

All in all, the asparagus and bacon combo was amazing. Fork and knife are definitely the only option and you have to be willing to forget the presentation when trying desperately to catch the last piece of asparagus with the fork holding a long piece of bacon.

Asparagus will DEFINITELY continue to be an ingredient in my future cooking endeavors.

Rachel Ray Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds asparagus spears, trimmed 4 to 5 inches long tips
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • A few grinds black pepper
  • 4 slices center cut bacon or pancetta
  • Chopped chives or scallions, optional garnish

Directions

Preheat oven, if using, to 400 degrees F.

Lightly coat asparagus spears in extra-virgin olive oil. Season the asparagus with black pepper. Take a quick count of the spear tips. Divide the total number by four. Gather that number of spears and use a slice of bacon to wrap the bundle and secure the spears together. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

To grill, place bundles on hot grill and cover. Cook 10 to 12 minutes until bacon is crisp and asparagus bundles are tender.

For oven preparation, place bundles on slotted broiler pan. Bake 12 minutes.

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Mac-Daddi-Roni Salad

Yes, pasta salad is pasta salad, and this recipe was no exception.

However, after tasting the pasta salad there was something about its taste that seemed different than I was used to. The addition of fresh peppadew peppers and minced pepperoncini gave the pasta salad a tiny bit of kick that it definitely needed. Additionally, I grew up on pasta salad with peas and tuna in it, which were NOT missed while eating this recipe.

Chilling the pasta after making it was definitely helpful in keeping the vegetables fresh for a nice cold and crisp salad. Additionally, mincing the vegetables so that they’re very small makes for much easier eating.

Maybe I’ll make real pasta next time….

Guy Fieri Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces macaroni pasta, 1/4-inch tube
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup minced red onion
  • 3/4 cup minced roasted red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 3/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced peppadew peppers
  • 1/4 cup minced pepperoncini
  • 1 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions

In a medium pot, boil water and add salt. Add pasta, cook until al dente, and place into an ice water bath.

In a medium mixing bowl add mayonnaise, garlic, mustard, and vinegar. Mix to combine and place in refrigerator to keep chilled while pasta cools down.

When pasta is cool, mix in mayonnaise mixture and all vegetables. Mix thoroughly, season with salt and pepper. Place into refrigerator and chill for 1 hour for the flavors to combine.